An online creative on tackling our ‘mixed feelings’ on the internet

A head shot of Mi-Anne Chen.  An icon in the upper right corner shows a sparkling illustration.  An icon in the lower left corner shows an image of a piece of paper.

Here at Mozilla, we’re the first to admit that the web isn’t perfect, but we’re also quick to point out that the web is pretty darn magical. The internet opens doors and opportunities, allows people to connect with others and lets everyone find where they belong – their corner of the internet. We all have an internet story worth sharing. In My corner of the internetWe talk to people about the online areas they can’t get enough of, what we should save to Pocket to read later, and the websites and forums that have shaped them.

This month we chat with Mi-Anne Chan, Founding Editor of mixed feelings, an advice-column newsletter that explores existential issues from relationships and work to how style, home, and culture contribute to identity. We chat with her about how we feel online, early-aughts beauty YouTube pages, and where digital media is headed next.

What is your favorite corner of the internet?

I hate poking shameless mixed feelings But I mean it when I say that my favorite corner of the internet is our Discord channel. I started mixed feelings, a newsletter and how-to column, featuring our Art Director Logan Tsugita, Branded Director Lloyd D’Souza, Assistant Editor Amalie MacGowan and a cast of incredible creatives over the last year. 110% of our content is about existentialism (and offering a brief break from that in the form of highly personal shopping recommendations and commentary on why everyone should be talking at the cinema).

So of course we created a discord that included our team and a little less than a hundred or so [mixed feeling-]We’re throwing away all of our weird thoughts, memes, pet photos, and armchair reviews of the latest episode of Succession and the Met Gala’s best and worst dresses.

It’s all funny, memes and silliness, but every once in a while the channel will light up with really nice and helpful conversations around topics like… “What questions should I ask a potential manager in a job interview?”. Every time I see a notification, I feel a small positive activation boost. i just love it so much

What’s one deep dive on the internet that you can’t wait to dive back into?

I love world building and complicated stories, so I spend a lot of time reading I read the fandom pages for pretty much everything – “Shadow and Bone”, “Wheel Of Time”, whatever – especially at night to calm me down before bed. I’ve been falling asleep while reading lately “Attack On Titan” page about the biological difference between titans and pure titans and the collapse of the “nen” energy system in “Hunter x Hunter”.

What’s the one tab you always regret closing?

These Nikes I’ve been thinking about for months but haven’t bought yet (can’t decide between all black or all blue!). The cycle goes: open the link in my browser, ask my friends if I should buy them, wait a few weeks, close the tab and open it again a few days later.

What is it that you just can’t stop talking about online?

I am in love argue. And lately I’ve been trying to find it everyone who will chat with me about the future of media. I don’t claim to know all the answers, but I find it extremely stimulating to discuss the intersection between digital media, industry and culture. I love Decoder, a podcast hosted by Nilay Patel, Editor-in-Chief of The Verge. He’s an incredible interviewer, and while some episodes are a little too “inside baseball” technique for me (I care about the chip scarcity, but not that much!), I think Nilay does an incredible job of making the cultural impact of technology and media to illuminate your everyday internet user. Of particular interest is this book, which uses Olivia Rodrigo’s album Sour as a starting point for a discussion of the music industry, copyright and songwriting sources as a whole. Nilay is a former copyright and trademark attorney so really gets into the smallest of details.

I’m also reading former Buzzfeed News Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith’s new book, Traffic, which depicts the rise and fall of Buzzfeed and Gawker as an allegory for the media’s cultural influence then and now. It’s personal reading for me as I was entering the digital media landscape at the time and know it only too well the excitement and pain of chasing page views and uniques from my time at Refinery29. Although I’m not finished with the book, I can already say that it would make interesting reading for anyone interested in the media/information ecosystem and the emergence of these giant corporations.

What was the first online community you interacted with?

I was a beauty editor in a past life and everything I learned in my younger days as an editor came from YouTubers like Ingrid Nilsen (then MissGlamorazzi), Michelle Phan and others. I remember interviewing for my first editorial internship at W Magazine almost a decade ago and seeing the Clarisonic Mia in the background of her then-beauty editor’s Skype screen. I didn’t pretend to know anything about this facial tool because I honestly couldn’t afford one, but I did because I heard so many YouTubers talking about it earlier this year. I’m convinced that it helped me get the job, which ultimately led to me getting my first real job in the media industry two years later!

I’m shutting myself out of the drama these days, so I’m not too sure what the beauty landscape is like on YouTube in 2023, but 2010-2014 was a magical time with 17-minute makeup tutorials hitting the bottom of the of your favorite creator’s bathroom. It was special.

What articles and videos are in your pocket just waiting to be read/watched?

The case against the trauma conspiracy, The New Yorker; I’ve started this a hundred times and I need to finish it. I don’t know why I keep putting it away, this topic is inherently interesting!!!

There I am almost from Jean Garnett, The Yale Review; I always saved it in my bag to read again. It’s a personal essay on the complicated nature of a twin relationship, but I think it applies to anyone who has had or currently has a “best friend.” It puts into words the shameful feeling of wanting need Being part of something, but also resentful that you are.

If you could create your own corner of the web, what would it look like?

To be honest, I think we’re already in the process of creating my ideal internet corner mixed feelings, It is a great honor for me to be able to do this. We talk endlessly about our feelings on our platforms, but something I’d like to explore more is conversations around fandom in terms of community building and identity building. I was the president of the Harry Potter Club in high school (lol) which eventually morphed into the fandom club, so I’d like to explore fandom in a more nuanced way later on.

Your site, mixed feelings, has written some beautiful writing on mental health and healing. What other areas of the internet do you think have healthy and happy conversations about mental health?

I love the Instagram page of Dr. Marisa Franco. She’s a psychologist and the author of Platonic, a book about making friends as an adult (she’s also a mixed feelings Writer!). dr Franco specializes in friendships, so she constantly shares truths about how your attachment style might affect you as a friend, and how to set boundaries while maintaining friendships. She recently performed a takeover for us, during which she answered countless questions, e.g. B. how to turn an acquaintance into a close friend and more!

Mi-Anne Chan is a writer, editor and creative director based in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently Senior Director of Programming and Creative Development at Conde Nast Entertainmentwhere she oversees the editorial video and audio portfolio teen vogue, them. And LOVE. You can Follow her here on Instagram And subscribe mixed feelings on Substack.

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