Something about that feeling when you find some really good content on the internet, you feel like you're in a back alley or a small town in a different country. You're worried you'll never find it again and all of a sudden you're thinking about how you got here, the links you clicked and the thoughts you thought in order to get to this very specific spot. You think about all the links you could have clicked or thoughts you could have thought that would have led you anywhere but here. You feel lucky you've arrived in this secret garden.
it’s become very common for women online to express their identities through an artfully curated list of the things they consume, or aspire to consume — and because young women are conditioned to believe that their identities are defined almost entirely by their neuroses, these roundups of cultural trends and authors du jour often implicitly serve to chicly signal one’s mental illnesses to the public. one girl on your tiktok feed might be a self-described joan didion/eve babitz/marlboro reds/straight-cut levis/fleabag girl (this means she has depression). another will call herself a babydoll dress/sylvia plath/red scare/miu miu/lana del rey girl (eating disorder), or a green juice/claw clip/emma chamberlain/yoga mat/podcast girl (different eating disorder).
What you really want, the book says, is not to desire things but to be desired. To be found attractive in theory, to the camera, to the audience. And you measure this desire by how envious others feel of you.
Sharing yourself online, as pure, and honest, and sincere, as you try to be, will always be mediated by the imagined other, the person you think will be reading, watching, consuming, saving, commenting, reblogging, whatever, on the other end.