Letter 61

April 22, 2021

On digital communication

I’ve met most of my best friends on Tumblr and Twitter, so I’ve always been really comfortable communicating and building relationships online. I have a lot of feelings about the way I navigate social media based on the 10+ years I’ve been doing it, I guess, and with that comes a lot of feelings about how I communicate with friends both privately and publicly—in DMs, in tweets, in group chats, in Discord servers, in text messages, and IRL. I think there’s a time and place for each of these, and it’s not even something that I can articulate very well, just something that feels instinctual to me. (A side effect of having so many communication channels: sometimes I find myself having three different conversations with a friend at the same time via three different apps.) Lately, I’ve been leaning into private, one-on-one conversations a little bit more—Summer took a small break from Twitter, so suddenly I had an excuse to spend all day texting her little updates about my life; and I met a friend to drink boba in the park over the weekend so we could catch up in person. Both felt really nice and really natural. There are so many ways to stay connected with people you care about online, and the thing is it doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as you…do it. I think that’s the point I wanted to make, who knows. Text your friends!


Sometimes I’m afraid I’m more charismatic online than I am in person. I have a lot of social anxiety, manifesting in both ends of the spectrum: I am kind of weird, quiet, hiding behind people I know, or I am overly energetic and obnoxious and feel like death when I am alone again. I’m embarrassed by what comes out of my mouth even if there is no reason to be. It is not that I am more cautious or filtered when I communicate through text, but something about my tone feels more confident. I barely know the voices of some of the people I trust the most in the world, because our communication has been always online. I’ve seen a slow reconsideration of friendships forged on the internet in the last few years and I think the pandemic has only reinforced how strong digital communication has the potential to be, if only you put work and effort into the relationships (like literally any relationship lol) formed through it. I love when my friends text me out of the blue and I love when people check up on me, I love stupid e-mails and IG DMs and anything people do to keep up and keep in touch.


We recommend

🔗 how DRIVERS LICENSE by OLIVIA RODRIGO captures suburban sadness from Flash Thrive

Ok so I hadn’t actually heard this song before I watched this video essay and I only connected the dots that the Olivia Rodrigo people keep talking about is the girl in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series like a week ago, and YET! This analysis made me cry? It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m back in the suburbs in my childhood home and cannot even drive, but anyway. Rosie’s video essays are the absolute best—if you care about Coming of Age 2010s aesthetics and where that all comes from, I highly recommend.


📺 The Uncanny Counter

I know that I am the kind of person who feels way too many feelings and loses her mind at every TV show. So, full disclosure, I basically recommend every TV show I’ve ever watched. And if I don’t, it’s because Summer already recommended it and that’s why I decided to watch it. All this to say: I recently finished the first season of The Uncanny Counter and it made me cry on several occasions and I love all of the characters and their amazing fits with my whole heart. My elevator pitch is that it’s like if the Grim Reaper was a very adorable high school boy with a found family and lots of good turtleneck/jacket combos.


🎥 The Muppets (2011)

A few weeks ago I asked my TL what is a movie that feels like Mamma Mia!, because I was sad and wanted that level of comfort but felt like watching something new. My friend Nico suggested The Muppets and it honestly was a top 5 decision of 2021. It’s silly and sweet and the music is great, a truly All Ages type of movie that does not condescend or resort to cheap humor. I cried? which is fine and normal, I don’t think there’s ever been a movie I didn’t cry at, but wow! It’s on Netflix, please go have fun.


🔗 Star projectors

I got this a projector recently as part of my quest to make my bedroom as cozy as possible and it’s my new favorite thing. Every night, I turn it + a pink lamp on and light a candle in my bedroom, and it has become a 10000x more fun and relaxing space. I didn’t do a ton of research, so there may be other star projectors out there that are better for you, but this is the one I got.