Karen Ho smiles for a photo.

Social media’s ‘Doomscrolling Reminder Lady’ on her favorite corners of the internet

Here at Mozilla, we are the first to admit the internet isn’t perfect, but we are also quick to point out that the internet is pretty darn magical. The internet opens up doors and opportunities, allows for people to connect with others, and lets everyone find where they belong — their corners of the internet. We all have an internet story worth sharing. In My Corner Of The Internet, we talk with people about the online spaces they can’t get enough of, what we should save in Pocket to read later, and what sites and forums shaped them.

This month we talk with Karen Ho, the journalist behind the Doomscrolling Reminder Bot that reminds its more than 71,000 followers on Twitter to drink water, sit up straight and stop doomscrolling.

Photo credit: Kristin Foster

What is your favorite corner of the internet?

The Journalists of Color Slack. I also play Wordle every day – my sister got me into it a few weeks ago.

What is an internet deep dive that you can’t wait to jump back into? 

After I finally watch “Everything Everywhere All At Once” in theaters, I will read every article written about the movie, the filmmakers and the stars.

What is the one tab you always regret closing? 

I wrote out an email pitch to the New Yorker about my master’s thesis, but never sent it out of nervousness. A staff member ended up writing about the exact topic several months later, and it was nominated for a National Magazine Award in Public Service.

What can you not stop talking about on the internet right now? 

The ongoing hate crimes against Asian Americans; how working in the media industry is especially odd and often overwhelming right now; how the U.S. continues to fail in its approach to COVID-19; and my very cute dog Max, who does not care what I do for work or how many followers I have on Twitter. I also tell a lot of people about Goodwill Auctions, and plan to launch a newsletter about it soon.

What was the first online community you engaged with? 

A Sailor Moon fansite where I read episode guides, then a lot of time on Neopets, Teen Open Diary and LiveJournal.

What articles and videos are in your Pocket waiting to be read/watched right now? 

It’s such a mess. A huge backlog of John Oliver, Planet Money, and This American Life episodes; features from the New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Businessweek; and several business explainers on inflation, supply chain issues, hiring, and what Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter really means.

When was the last time you caught yourself doomscrolling and what did you do to break out of it?

When the Politico news broke. I tweeted reminders out loud to myself and others about how getting enough sleep would give me more energy to read thoughtful articles and do my work today than staying up late reading analysis and bad opinions.

If you could create your own corner of the internet what would it look like? 

A feed like Twitter, but with more safety and moderation guidelines and features. The commenting communities of old Deadspin and The Toast. The enthusiasm and pure joy of Tom Lum’s video about bees perceiving time. Nicole Cliffe’s Twitter prompts. The tone and style of Matt Levine and Rusty Foster’s newsletters. The New York Times Styles Desk Gift Guide from 2020 (and a lot of whatever editor/writer Choire Sicha and graphic designer Tracy Ma dream up, they are both geniuses). More well-being options for managing time and focus. And lots of pet photos.

Karen K. Ho is a freelance business reporter and writer who splits her time between Toronto and New York City. She has been published in outlets like TIME, GQ, Men’s Health, Glamour, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She is also the creator of the Doomscrolling Reminder Bot.

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