My Internet: Andrea González-Ramírez
The star journalist is obsessed with TikTok, Bad Bunny, and chaotic voice notes.
It's Friday, which means we're back with My Internet, our weekly feature in which we quiz an extremely cool “extremely online” person on their social media and streaming habits to get their essential guide to what’s good on the internet.
Today we welcome the award-winning independent journalist and founder of the Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program, Andrea González-Ramírez, whose 2020 investigation into the epidemic of intimate partner violence in Puerto Rico led to major changes in public policy. One of the authors of AOC: The Fearless Rise and Powerful Resonance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she was awarded a 2021 ASME NEXT Award earlier this month. She also streams nasty old-school reggaetón and Criminal Minds, tweets with Tumblr energy, loves "shitposting" on her (private) Instagram Stories, and texts voice notes that her friends call her "podcasts." —Nick
What's a recent meme that you like?
This is a niche Puerto Rican meme, but Valeria. I think her about her a lot these days.
Would you say that you have an Instagram aesthetic? How would you describe it?
My Instagram’s aesthetic is… having no aesthetic? I’m not a visual person and I’ve never figured out how to create a cohesive look for the grid, though I love shitposting on my Stories. And I think that works! My account is private and mostly to share stuff with people I care about.
What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
I don’t use YouTube as much anymore, but I’ll occasionally go down rabbit holes—like when I discovered Brandi TV a few years ago and spent [redacted amount of time] cackling while at work. I also like to watch concerts, like Shakira: Live from Paris.
What shows up on yourTikTok For You Page?
I’m obsessed with TikTok, though I don’t post anything because I’m terrified of the youths telling me I'm lame. My FYP lately looks like videos of Latinx creators, funny babies and animals, insanely complicated makeup looks, bisexual jokes, and fandom shit. Last spring there was a lot of Criminal Minds content as I binge-watched the show (I know), lately it is Marvel as me and my partner have watched all the MCU films (again, I know).
Are there any influencers who you would be sad to see stop posting?
Do you ever tweet? Why?
I do, but not really by choice? Twitter is such a big part of the media industry, it just feels like not being in the platform is not an option. And despite how toxic it is, Twitter has been instrumental in my career and that of many journalists from marginalized communities. It helps us get the right eyeballs on our work, build an audience, get around the industry’s gatekeeping. But if you asked what one of my career goals is these days, I’d probably say I want to be established enough where I can just quit it. Pull a Lindy West and Ta-Nehisi Coates! Just be like, "Bye bitches!" *poof*
Which platform do you put the most effort into posting on?
I guess Twitter because of what I just described. I have bills and a cat to feed.
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
I thought of answering this question, but I felt my skin crawl because the answer is so nerdy and lame. Pass!
Who's someone you know you should unfollow but can't seem to?
Deuxmoi. I don't understand 99% of the blinds, which is why I find myself rewatching them late at night trying to figure out what they mean instead of going to bed. It's not a great use of my brain cells!
Is there a podcast you're currently obsessed with? How and when do you usually listen?
I usually listen to podcasts while cooking and doing the dishes. I love You’re Wrong About—their series about Princess Diana was a siren song and now there’s no going back. Recently I also finished Stolen: The Search for Jermain, La Brega, and Anything for Selena.
Do you have an opinion about Clubhouse?
tI still don’t understand the purpose of Clubhouse and at this point I’m too afraid to ask.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What's your favorite?
I do, but I'm terrible at keeping up with them so I wouldn't say I have a "favorite." (Though I love Embedded forever 🖤)
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr? Why?
I miss Tumblr! I loved the communities you could be, how insanely weird you could get. There have been editors who ask me about my “Twitter voice”—A TERM I LOATHE—but I guess the reason it exists is because of Tumblr. That was my first real exposure to microblogging and memes and just generally saying whatever the fuck I wanted on the internet.
Who's a digital creator more people should know about?
I really like what (Con)Sentimientos is doing in terms of feminist political education in Puerto Rico. It's necessary work as the island struggles with a crisis of gender violence. Educating folks is a great first step towards dismantling a lot of it.
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence?
Are you regularly in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook? What are they about?
I'm in a few media-related Slacks, mostly to keep up with potential work and tons of tea.
Do you have a go-to emoji? What does it mean to you?
It used to be 🙃 and ☠️ but these days is 🥲 and 🤠. Same spirit of "lol what the fuck."
Do you text people voice notes?
YES. I love sending voice notes, my friends have made the point of calling them my “podcasts.” They are usually hella chaotic and in response to whatever we’re talking about in the group chats. Some last 30 seconds, some last more than six minutes, all of them tend to feature a little bit of Spanish and a lot of cussing.
Do any of your group chats have names? What's the best one?
For legal reasons I can’t answer this question.
What's the most basic thing about you online?
My earnest Instagram captions!!!
What's the most specific or niche Spotify playlist that you like?
My friend Frances created a playlist called A Guayar Evilla, featuring some of the nastiest old-school reggaetón out there. It’s great for any type of occasion lol.
Who topped your Spotify Wrapped last year?
Bad Bunny, beibi.
Do you have any "guilty pleasures" online or in terms of what you stream?
I rewatched all of America’s Next Top Model on Hulu during the pandemic. Does that count?
What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?
Worst things: Context collapse, cancel culture panic, people sending tweets instead of just keeping it in their group chats, how online everyone is.
Best thing: Panda videos ❤️
Thanks Andrea! Follow her on Twitter; find a mentor or become a mentor with the Latinas in Journalism Mentorship Program; read her Puerto Rico investigation and other writing; and buy AOC: The Fearless Rise and Powerful Resonance of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Recommended in this post Valeria memes; Brandi TV and Shakira: Live From Paris on YouTube; the TV series Criminal Minds and America’s Next Top Model; the Marvel cinematic universe; the podcasts You’re Wrong About, Stolen: The Search for Jermain, La Brega, and Anything for Selena; (Con)Sentimientos on Instagram; celebrity couple Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker; old-school reggaetón playlist A Guayar Evilla; Bad Bunny; Panda videos.