My Internet: Rachel Charlene Lewis

The writer and social media strategist on posting less and enjoying the internet more.

Welcome to Embedded, your essential guide to what’s good on the internet, published Monday through Friday by Kate Lindsay and Nick Catucci. “Get Embedded” on Twitter and Instagram. 🧩

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 Rachel Charlene Lewis, a writer and social media strategist who recently (and happily) stepped back from Twitter and “largely stopped posting” elsewhere. Rachel watches TikToks about attachment styles and self-diagnosing ADHD, comments on brand accounts to support social media managers, and is happy for influencers who disappear after taking day jobs. —Nick


What's a recent meme that you like?

It's dead now, but I still really like the TikTok sound from Bob's Burgers where Linda is taking Louise's things, especially when paired with pets. I really just like TikTok, Bob's, and pets. It's my entire FYP at this point (other than exhausting queer discourse).

Would you say that you have an Instagram aesthetic? How would you describe it?

HmmmMMMmmm. "Sometimes a lot of posting, sometimes silence." If I had to say a real aesthetic, I'd say basic sustainability/wellness Baggu Golde-fluencer. I post a lot of really good ceramic mugs and coffee and photos in bike shorts. I also am one of those annoying bitches who posts a ton of stuff on her close friends and rarely uses her stories, and it's not even like, hot goss, it's just me smiling with my girlfriend or a picture of food. Sorry!!!

What type of stuff do you watch on YouTube?

I'm going to really prove that I'm boring here, but pilates videos, Yoga with Adrienne, and like, 2015 gay YouTuber content. I don't watch a lot of new stuff.

Do you use TikTok? How would you describe what shows up on your For You Page?

Uh, yes. Way too much. I by far use TikTok more than any other platform. My FYP: are you a lesbian or a bisexual, do you have ADHD, let's talk attachment styles, cats, cats, cats, apartment tours, good Levis.

Do you use Pinterest?

Sort of. I use it to save tattoos and also future home inspo. I probably use it like, 3x a year (other than work).

Are there any influencers who you would be sad to see stop posting?

Hmmm. Is it bad if I say no? Idk, I'm always happy for influencers when they're like, "you know what, fuck this, I'm going to go work at this place and never tell you about myself again."

Do you ever tweet? Why?

I used to! A lot. I have abandoned twitter... and it feels sooooooooo good. Fuck twitter. Get off of it!!!!

Which platform do you put the most effort into posting on?

Instagram, for sure. I still stress a lot about captions and edits and filters and all that jazz. I've largely stopped posting anything on anything though, which is much better for my brain. I actually go on Reddit a lot, but never post.

Who's the coolest person who follows you?

A scary amount of people I really seriously admire follow me, which I hate. I think it's a part of why I stopped tweeting, lol. It's just stressful to be like, "I actually respect this person and they're watching me tweet about lavender lattes and my ass? No."

Who's someone you know you should unfollow but can't seem to?

Pretty much any messy, white, NYC influencer type. I don't know them, don't want to, and can't unfollow. Like, think Victoria Paris.

Is there a podcast you're currently obsessed with? How and when do you usually listen?

The Pants podcast with Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey. I did a lot of podcast walks with my girlfriend throughout quarantine, and it kept me focused on the ~hot girl walk~. But actually, it's very easy and funny. I am afraid of people who listen to murder pods. I also really, really miss 2 Dope Queens. I think it's the only podcast where I've found genuine pleasure just listening and didn't have to find it based on like, "Oh I already liked these people."

Do you have an opinion about Clubhouse?

I have it, and I think it's interesting, but it hasn't clicked for me yet.

Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What's your favorite?

I really like Haley Nahman's newsletter. I used to read Mary Retta, but she's closed hers. Otherwise, Substack just got too clunky for me. BRING BACK BLOGS.

Are you nostalgic for Vine or Tumblr? Why?

Yeeeeeeeeees. I loved Vine, but Tumblr was my heart. I followed a lot of people from high school that I wasn't friends with during high school, but that I bonded with in the years after as we all like, realized we were queer and had similar obsessions. I miss shipping things and posting pretty things I liked and feeling anonymous, but also supported by these like, 5 acquaintances. It was just sweet. (Also... rip porn gifs.)

Who's a digital creator more people should know about?

So many. I hate that there are always like, 15 digital creators who rise to the top, and everyone else is just working their asses off for this random assortment of brands.

Which big celebrity has your favorite internet presence?

Probably Kristen Stewart because she doesn't have one. Any celeb I've learned more about has just made me sad. I don't want to know about your innermost weird thoughts, just let me aspire and admit you're rich and thriving, thanks.

Are you regularly in any groups on Reddit, Slack, Discord, or Facebook? What are they about?

Yes to Reddit. I spend an embarrassing amount of time in the Outdoor Voices Reddit. Otherwise, just whatever random shit I get sucked into. I like the Bachelor subreddits and drama. I also like scaring myself with the various scary story-type Reddits, but then I suffer after, so.

Do you consider yourself part of any specific online communities?

I used to be a part of like, books Twitter, and queer Twitter, but I have disappeared and am fine with it. I also used to write fanfic for a very specific forum and build a very big following and also disappeared. I seem to have a problem with abandoning.

Are you a gamer? What are you playing right now? Do you have a gamer friend group?

I used to be veeeeeery into the whole Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing space. But I have no time.

Do you have a go-to emoji? What does it mean to you?

Cowboy emoji. I love him and my (southern) girlfriend won't let me wear cowboy hats, so I have to improvise digitally. Or grandpa, because I am a grandpa. Also the whale emoji.

Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?

Never. I think it's v interesting when my gen z friends send them, but I still email my (my age) friends, so.

Do any of your group chats have names? What's the best one?

nope!

What's the most basic thing about you online?

...everything? I feel like I've managed to present myself very differently than I actually am IRL. I am very, deeply boring. I buy $30 candles and kiss my very nice girlfriend and talk about getting a dog and a mortgage.

What's the most specific or niche Spotify playlist that you like?

"if twilight was made today."

Who topped your Spotify Wrapped last year?

Oh god. I think Phoebe Bridgers. See? I TOLD YOU.

Are you signed up for any "alternative" movie/TV or music streaming services, like Mubi or Deezer?

nope.

Do you have any "guilty pleasures" online or in terms of what you stream?

Lol. Twilight. Or Zutara fandoms. Sorry!!!

Do you ever comment on or reply to posts? What inspires you to do that when you do?

I actually just comment on lots of brand accounts because I also run IG accounts for brands and know it HURTS to get no comments.

Do you regularly use eBay, Depop, or other shopping platforms? What's a recent thing you've bought or sold?

I bought the polka dot OV set from Mercari lol i'M SORRY I TRIED TO WARN YOU I'M NOT INTERESTING.

What's one thing you do online only because you have to for work, and one thing you do strictly for fun?

The entire internet. I don't enjoy it. Strictly for fun, pottery vids on TikTok.

Is there any content you want that you can't seem to find anywhere online?

....lesbian porn gifs. RIP Tumblr. There is so much I don't want to see that I have to see that was so easy to avoid on Tumblr.

What's the worst thing about the internet in 2021? How about the best thing?

Worst: The online personality-to-book pipeline. Best: recipes and queer community.


Thanks Rachel! Read her writing and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Recommended in this post Pilates videos, Yoga with Adrienne, and 2015 gay YouTuber content on YouTube; TikTok videos about whether you are a lesbian or a bisexual, if you have ADHD, attachment styles, cats, apartments, good Levis, and pottery; Pinterest for tattoo and home inspiration; abandoning Twitter; The Pants and 2 Dope Queens podcasts; the newsletters Maybe Baby by Haley Nahman and close but not quite by Mary Retta; Tumblr porn gifs; Reddit's Outdoor Voices, Bachelor, and scary story subreddits; the games Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing; "if twilight was made today" and Phoebe Bridgers on Spotify; the Twilight movies; Zutara fandoms; commenting on brand accounts to support social managers; buying discontinued Outdoor Voices sets on Mercari; recipes and queer community. 🤠 👴 🐋

Read the previous My Internet posts with Kimberly Nicole Foster, Miles KleeConnie WangCat ZhangJosh Gondelman, Andrea González-RamírezRumaan AlamHua Hsu, and Alicia Kennedy.