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My Internet: Kimberly Nicole Foster
The OG member of the Black Feminist Internet lives her dream on YouTube.
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 Kimberly Nicole Foster, an “OG member of the Black Feminist Internet” who founded For Harriet, publishes an eponymous newsletter, and was awarded a #YouTubeBlack Voices grant this year. Kimberly watches videos about opting out of “hustle culture,” uses Clubhouse as background noise, and plays Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis playlists.
YOUR Internet We’re once again inviting you, our loyal readers, to answer one question from My Internet. Reply to this email by Sunday night and we’ll include your response in Monday’s newsletter. Today’s query: What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
What's a recent meme that you like?
I follow lots of 2000s nostalgia accounts, so I love a meme that sends up 2000s culture. I also love the accounts of 30+ millennials talking about being 30+. The Olds on the internet need a safe space to come together. We're still grappling with not being "cool" anymore.
Would you say that you have an Instagram aesthetic? How would you describe it?
Loud-mouthed feminist who occasionally serves look. With a touch of pink.
What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?
Recently, I've been watching Gen-Zers and young millennials talk about why work is meaningless. There's a whole mini-movement of people opting out of "hustle culture" and hyper-ambition. That's fascinating to me as a recovering workaholic. I admire how YouTube and TikTok creates silos for these conversations. I've watched 6 or 7 videos on this in the past day.
Do you use TikTok? If so, how would you describe what shows up on your For You Page?
I love TikTok. I see a lot of young women making fun of themselves and sending up gender norms. I hope that tired, sexist trope about women not being funny is finally dead because women are the funniest people on TikTok.
Do you use Pinterest?
I could never get into it. My boyfriend LOVES Pinterest though.
Are there any influencers who you would be sad to see stop posting?
When Jackie Aina stops posting, it's over. I love her. She's the epitome of the aspirational Black Glam Aesthetic. Beyond how she's been able to position herself in a niche that is not particularly Black Girl Friendly, she comes across as incredibly thoughtful and kind.
Do you ever tweet? Why?
I tweet way too much because I have a problem. Truly. I am addicted. Everyday I wish I could quit.
Which platform do you put the most effort into posting on?
I put the most effort into YouTube because I get the most out of it. I love being able to share my thoughts in long-form. I grew up watching talking head shows and thinking that was my dream job. I can't believe I get to do that now.
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
I don't know. I truly try not to get too caught up in that because it makes me self-conscious about what I post, but a lot of famous people follow me on various platforms. Both Jameela Jamil and Laverne Cox have been incredible supporters of my work, so I'll take this time to shout them out.
Who's someone you know you should unfollow but can't seem to?
A very bad man I "dated" in 2016. I'm very, very nosy. What can I say?
Is there a podcast you're currently obsessed with? How and when do you usually listen?
There aren't any podcasts I'm obsessed with right now, but my all-time favorites are Heavyweight and For Colored Nerds. I have YouTube premium, so I often listen to YouTube videos. I got the practice of turning on videos and podcasts just to have some noise in the background from my dad. He used to listen to talk radio all the time. Even when he was sleeping. I cannot handle silence, so if you come into my home, you'll hear the sound of human voices.
Do you have an opinion about Clubhouse?
It used to be GREAT. Now I primarily use it as background noise while I'm working.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What's your favorite?
I subscribe to a ton of Substacks. It's actually a problem now because who has time to read all this? I like smart women writing about pop culture, so I love Anne Helen Petersen's newsletter and Tressie McMillan Cottom's essaying.
Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr?
Nope. I've been Extremely Online for 20 years and platforms last for as long as they're supposed to last. They give us things and we move on. Young people deserve the space to innovate and guide cultural conversations on emerging platforms.
Who's a digital creator more people should know about?
Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence?
Are you regularly in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook?
Do you consider yourself part of any specific online communities?
I'm an OG member of the Black Feminist Internet.
Are you a gamer?
I'm addicted to iPhone puzzle games, but I don't think that makes me a gamer.
Do you have a go-to emoji? What does it mean to you?
😂 Sometimes I send it when I am actually doubled over in laughter. Sometimes I send it when I want you to stop sending me two week old memes but don't want to hurt your feelings.
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
I was introduced to voice notes by a new friend during the pandemic. I'm obsessed with them. There are so many thoughts that cannot be properly conveyed via text. I HAVE to yell them to you over the phone. Send me all of your voice notes. Every single one.
Do any of your group chats have names? What's the best one?
My best group chat is the one with my college friends. It's called The BGC, which is the name we picked for ourselves in college. BGC stands for Bad Girls Club. We are not bad at all, but we were the Harvard College version of it.
What's the most basic thing about you online?
I follow Kim Kardashian on Instagram.
What's the most specific or niche music playlist that you like?
This is only niche to people who are not Black, but I play Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis playlists A LOT.
Who topped your Spotify Wrapped last year?
Are you signed up for any "alternative" movie/TV or music streaming services, like Mubi or Deezer?
I recently signed up for The Criterion Channel because I am pretentious. I like it though!
Do you have any "guilty pleasures" online or in terms of what you stream?
I don't believe in guilty pleasures. Life is too short. I like what I like.
Do you ever comment on or reply to posts? Which platforms? What inspires you to do that when you do?
This is another thing I wish I didn't do. It's usually fruitless, but when I do it it's purely for catharsis.
Do you regularly use eBay, Depop, or other shopping platforms? What's a recent thing you've bought or sold?
I use eBay a lot to buy tech stuff. The most recent thing I bought was a Lavalier microphone.
What's one thing you do online only because you have to for work, and one thing you do strictly for fun?
I run payroll for my very small company online because I have to. I'm not sure if there are things I do online strictly for fun. In my line of work, every digital activity becomes work.
Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?
Not really. My online needs are very well met.
What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?
Pile-On Culture is corrosive, but it's so easy to get sucked into it. The best thing about the internet is how willing people are to share and help each other. I'm consistently amazed by the generosity of strangers.
Recommended in this post Memes about 2000s nostalgia and millennials over 30; YouTube videos and TikToks about opting out of "hustle culture"; Jackie Aina and Adella Afadi on YouTube; Ryan Ken on TikTok; the podcasts Heavyweight and For Colored Nerds; listening to Clubhouse for background noise; the newsletters Culture Study and essaying; Britney Spears and Issa Rae on Instagram; streaming Dua Lipa, Chloe x Halle, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis songs; The Criterion Channel; eBay for buying tech stuff.
Reminder! Reply to this email and tell us: What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?