My Internet: Alicia Kennedy
The food and culture writer shares the best of her online world.
Welcome to My Internet, a new feature in which we quiz an extremely cool “extremely online” person on their social media and streaming habits to deduce their essential guide to what’s good on the internet.
We’re honored and excited to kick things off with Alicia Kennedy, a San Juan, Puerto Rico-based journalist who writes about culture, climate, and cocktails and is currently working on a book about eating and capitalism.
Alicia focuses on her Instagram (even though she knows that’s basic), found her favorite food publication on Substack (where she also writes), streams power-pop and This Is Us, and will reply to people with good energy on Twitter.
Look out for My Internet every Friday!
What's a recent meme that you like?
I'm not a meme person, to be honest! By the time I internalize them, they're old.
Do you have an Instagram aesthetic?
By virtue of having over 10K followers, I've kind of organically landed on a bright white aesthetic where I photograph my food on my white floors, take selfies against the backdrop of my white walls, and share podcast graphics on white backgrounds. It works well with being in the tropics—pops of green, the colors of the food, these are what I want to stand out.
What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
I watch the bands I like do full shows for KEXP. I watch any live Gustavo Certati I can get my eyeballs and ears on, because I missed the chance to see him when he was alive. I use YouTube like a fiftysomething-year-old man who was really into WLIR, because that's who my dad is and my taste in/obsession with music is thanks to him.
Do you use TikTok?
Nope! Who has the time?
Do you use Pinterest?
I tried when it launched but I simply don't care about visuals enough. It's not how I understand the world.
Are there any influencers who you would be sad to see stop posting?
Bettina Makalintal is the best influencer there is, so yes.
Do you ever tweet? Why?
I tweet out of the same impulse that saw me start a LiveJournal in middle school, the same reason I write, the same reason I read novels and watch movies: a burning impulse and desire to share my inner world with other people and understand their inner worlds as well.
Which platform do you put the most effort into posting on?
My Instagram feed is the only place I expend any effort. I want it to be a good expression of what I cook and eat, how I live. It's the platform that humanizes me for people who read my work, which can be kind of polemical.
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
Nigella Lawson!!! She follows me on Twitter. I get butterflies when she replies to me.
Who's someone you know you should unfollow but can't seem to?
I am pretty good about keeping away from people who upset or trigger me. If I would feel guilty in unfollowing, I mute.
Do you have an opinion about Clubhouse?
I got on it to do some discussions about food. I find it mostly annoying but if someone asks me to talk about my work on there, I'm happy to share with a different kind of audience than I usually have.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What's your favorite?
My favorite Substacks are Vittles, Patti Smith's, and Natasha Stagg's. I like the latter two because I love their books, so the more work the better. I love the first because it's the best food publication there is.
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr?
No, though I did have a nice little literary community on Tumblr in the late '00s.
Who's a digital creator more people should know about?
I don't think of people in these kinds of terms because I don't want anyone to think of me as a "content creator," but Hola Aida, a vintage seller based in here in San Juan, Puerto Rico, does a brilliant job showcasing her clothing, the why of supporting vintage, and the scenery of Puerto Rico.
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence?
He isn't a big celebrity, but the Italian actor Maurizio Lombardi has the best Instagram of any actor. He was on The Young Pope, my favorite show of all time.
Are you regularly in any Reddit, Slack, Discord, Facebook or other groups?
Do you consider yourself part of any specific online communities?
Food media Twitter, if there is such a thing.
Are you a gamer?
Do you have a go-to emoji?
The smiling devil. Scorpio-as-emoji.
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
Only my fiancé when I'm in a rush or my hand is holding the dog's leash. I hate getting them because I like to process information quickly, and for me, that's text.
Do any of your group chats have names? What's the best one?
Gooseberry Gang is my group chat with my two "girl cousins," to use our childhood parlance. It's called that because we used to pick gooseberries from under our grandpa's deck and make strange concoctions.
What's the most basic thing about you online?
I care about what my Instagram looks like.
What's the most specific or niche Spotify playlist that you like?
My own, called "the Vibe," which is a curation of how I want to feel, based mainly on the soundtrack of Carlos, the three-part miniseries by Olivier Assayas about a Venezuelan leftist. Lots of post-punk. It's what I grew up on and what makes me feel energized and alive.
Who topped your Spotify Wrapped last year?
It's always Gustavo Cerati and his band Soda Stereo in recent years. If not them, Nada Surf. I'm also a huge power pop fan.
Are you signed up for any "alternative" streaming services, like Mubi or Deezer?
Mubi and Criterion, but I don't use them enough because I can't access them on the TV and if I don't watch it on TV, it feels like work.
Do you have any "guilty pleasures" online or in terms of what you stream?
I watch This Is Us and cry at every episode.
Do you ever comment on or reply to posts? Which platforms? What inspires you to do that when you do?
I comment to tell people they're great on Instagram. I reply a little bit on Twitter. I have to feel good energy from the person in order to do so.
What's one thing you do online only because you have to for work, and one thing you do strictly for fun?
It's all work, but my work is fun, so I can't complain.
Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?
If I can't find it online, I can find it in a book.
What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?
The worst thing is that you can create a totally fictional world based on your own politics and opinions. The best is that I can make a living with a newsletter.