My Internet: Connie Wang
The author, editor, and video host does deep dives on YouTube, then clears her history.
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 Connie Wang, the executive editor and host of Style Out There at Refinery29, who is writing a highly-anticipated memoir, Wo De Ma Ya!, which will be published by Viking Books in 2023. Connie is reluctantly influenced by a rich woman in Thailand and watches horse girl (not hobbyhorse) videos and budae jjigae mukbangs. —Nick
What's a recent meme that you like?
Would you say that you have an Instagram aesthetic?
Unfortunately, my Instagram aesthetic is “Vain person from 2015.” It's all selfies, my family, things I've eaten, places I go, things I bought and liked, and sentimental stuff. I don't post often and I rarely use Instagram Stories, and when I do, it's the most public parts about my personal life (the things you might mention in a holiday card, if you will).
What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
I will oftentimes watch every single video within a minuscule subculture. See: Horse girls who jump like horses, not to be confused with Hobbyhorse girls.
And my sister introduced me to the world of extreme meal prepping, which it is utterly fascinating. They're usually done by religious mom influencers with gigantic families—and here is one of my favorites.
The 1am wake-ups. The fact that ranch powder exists. Learning that the fastest way to cook ground beef is to STEAM it. Incredible.
Do you use TikTok?
I took TikTok off my homescreen on my phone, and—like a real medium-old person—I now usually see TikToks when they're reposted on Instagram Stories or Twitter.
Do you use Pinterest?
I do use Pinterest, but all my active boards are private—they're mostly for home decor stuff and gift ideas for my friends. After I learned that the President gets to redecorate the Oval Office in any way they see fit, I spent a few minutes making a board of what I'd do with the space. (It's too embarrassing to make public, sorry.)
Are there any influencers who you would be sad to see stop posting?
Do you ever tweet? Why?
I first joined in 2007 after Biz Stone spoke during one of the media classes I was taking for school (he told us that he thought Twitter's two most useful functions was its ability to coordinate protest movements and also.....that you can tell your friends where you are............). These days, I post on Twitter for professional reasons, and to keep abreast of things I need to know for my job. I find this approach to be healthiest for me.
Which platform do you put the most effort into posting on?
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
Don't ask me how I know, but Julia Fox recently unfollowed me on Instagram, which means she, at one point, did follow me (even if it was for two seconds).
Who's someone you know you should unfollow but can't seem to?
Is there a podcast you're currently obsessed with?
Now that I don't have to commute anymore, I find my podcast consumption to be close to zero now—I mostly just listen to the news. But the last fun podcast I devoured in my car was American Girls, a pod by two historians who reread the American Girl books with a grown-up's skepticism and context and nostalgia for what it meant to us as kids.
Do you have an opinion about Clubhouse?
IMO it feels like the first three minutes of those giant Zoom work meetings where everyone has their cameras turned off and the vibes are a little too ice breaker-y and awkward, except in Clubhouse they go on for three hours. I acknowledge that I very well might be in the wrong rooms.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What's your favorite?
I love Folu Akinkuotu's Unsnackable newsletter. She's a brilliant chef, and has THE BEST taste when it comes to snacks. The last dispatch featured toaster strudels, a beautiful white-pepper butter cake with cherrywood-smoked swiss buttercream frosting, corn ice cream, and chips shaped like tiny baguettes.
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr?
Tumblr! There was something so nice about being in our feelings, all together.
Who's a digital creator more people should know about?
I follow this extremely wealthy person in Thailand who seems to be living her best life. I get materially influenced by her all the time, and I HATE IT. She buys Legos, I buy the same Legos. She redoes her home closet, I look up how much it'd cost to redo my home closet and abandon those plans. I try to fight her influence, but I cannot.
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence?
Connie Chung, in that she has none.
Are you regularly in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook?
I'm in a few Slack groups for journalists of color. I also regularly join Facebook groups for reporting purposes (usually for groups that exist abroad).
Do you consider yourself part of any specific online communities?
Does Refinery29 count?
Are you a gamer?
I can only play video games with one thumb (my brain cannot make sense of a controller). I played Pokemon Go for so long, and only stopped when I moved to LA because the neighborhood I moved to didn't have any gyms or stops I could access from my couch. I don't play anything right now, except for Threes, which I nearly always have open, and am probably always "playing" at any given moment—at this point, it's almost entirely muscle memory and helps me focus on the task at hand. It's not exactly a productivity trick, but it's my version of a fidget spinner.
Do you have a go-to emoji?
I use the teary eyes emoji a lot, and the potato one, too, if I'm referring to my son (his nickname is potato in Chinese).
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
I hate sending voice notes, but I LOVE GETTING VOICE NOTES. If you send them to me, I will be your friend forever.
Do any of your group chats have names? What's the best one?
My family group chat is a string of emojis of all our Chinese zodiac animals. I have chats with "better names," but—like the entire point of group chats—some things are better left off the Internet.
What's the most basic thing about you online?
I'm mostly earnest.
What's the most specific or niche Spotify playlist that you like?
I...........do not listen to music.............:)
What topped your Spotify Wrapped last year?
White noise sounds.
Do you have any "guilty pleasures" online or in terms of what you stream?
I've been watching a lot of Episodes and enjoying it, and I think that counts.
Do you ever comment on or reply to posts?
I'll sometimes reply to tweets and leave Instagram comments on people I know personally, and usually it's in response to good news or tough news.
Do you regularly use eBay, Depop, or other shopping platforms?
I use eBay constantly! Last year, I bought a very old milking stool with spiral legs that got stuck in customs for months. I got it for around $30, and see similar version now on 1st Dibs for $1,000+.
What's one thing you do online only because you have to for work, and one thing you do strictly for fun?
For work: Tweet. For fun: watch YouTube and then clear my history.
Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?
I miss Angelfire websites. I grieve all the ones that were lost (including the very deranged fanpage I made for Apolo Anton Ohno when I was 12).
What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?
The worst thing is how there's an expectation that you can totally "understand" something if you just read the right paragraph or come across one new idea. The more I understand, the more I realize that I know nothing. I find it disturbing that some people come to the opposite conclusion. The best thing is that we can always look something up. I don't know how many people remember what it was like to argue about a fact or the existence of a thing for HOURS. Now someone can just Google it, and that's that.
Recommended in this post Egg pranks on TikTok; girls who jump like horses, budae jjigae mukbangs, and extreme meal prepping on YouTube; Pinterest for Oval Office redecoration ideas; the podcast American Girls; the newsletter Unsnackable; this wealthy influencer in Thailand; playing Pokemon Go and Threes; receiving (not sending) voice notes; white noise sounds on Spotify; the TV series Episodes; and eBay for bargains on old milking stools.