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Harriette’s “i heart the internet” and the Lasting Effects of a Worldwide Crisis

Gwen Brown
Harriette first broke out on TikTok with the track “at least i’m pretty,” teasing her apparent talent.

It often feels like there are two versions of one’s self: one on the internet, and one in reality. Harriette explores this idea in her eight-song album, “i heart the internet.” 

Released in late April of 2023, “i heart the internet” not only deals with this lost sense of self, but the mixed emotions of love and growing up. I also felt as if the COVID-19 pandemic, even though not mentioned, plays a big part in this album. 

COVID-19 made some people feel like outcasts, even when they weren’t, and reentering public spaces was especially hard. Social media was the main way of communicating with the people who were closest to you, or to anyone at all. It felt safe being able to only show what you wanted to show; nobody could see the half-full water bottles on your bedside table, your greasy hair, or the shirt you’d been wearing for three days in a row. 

Having this safety ripped away was terrifying. Personally, I kept a decently sized friend group over quarantine, playing Among Us and having Netflix watch parties, but it couldn’t prepare me for what was to come. 

When COVID-19 guidelines started to loosen and school would have two in-person class days a week, it wasn’t that bad. But while the in-person interaction was very important, it felt awkward. Being at least six feet away from anyone at all times made me feel more lonely than being around no one at all.

But after that, when I started high school, it was scary. School was back to five days a week, there were 1,600 students compared to 800 from middle school, and I had no idea how to talk to new people, having been out of practice for three years.

The easiest way to meet new people was social media; mass following anyone I saw at school on Instagram or adding people on Snapchat. I felt closer to people on the phone or texting them just sitting in my bed than being six feet away in person. 

Harriette opens the album with the title track, which doubles as an explanation of her distaste for her parents’ use of social media and a cute love song with beautiful falsetto vocals. This song sets up the rest of the album perfectly, starting with a soft intro into the love-crazy tunes that continue throughout the album.

Besides her troubled relationship with her parents and love interests, Harriette expresses her distaste for herself through the pre-chorus. She says, “I love myself on the internet, but that’s all, though,” a relatable sentiment for many people. How can you be happy with the real you when there is a perfect version of yourself with no flaws on the internet that everyone else can see anytime they want?

From then on up until the sixth song, it’s more heartache and distaste for her mother, but “bc i love you” is an upbeat, fun, and exciting song that truly shows off Harriette’s potential in her career. The production and setup for the chorus gets me going and gives me a joyful feeling every time I hear it. 

While “bc i love you” certainly shows her talent, every song on this album is worth listening to. 

Following “bc i love you,” “Goodbye Texas” is a calmer and slower tale of Harriette’s journey out of her home state, exploring the troubles that come with it. I think a lot of people can share the feeling of wanting to get away from their home state, even if they don’t live in Texas. 

Finally, Harriette reels it way back, slowing down even more with “Sunday,” a short, 1:32 minute song that gives me a soft, melancholy feeling. 

Harriette’s variety of tempo and instruments makes this short album a very fun listen that makes me feel every type of emotion. I think everyone could give this album a listen and find a song they like. I’m excited for what Harriette will do from here.

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