, 2022-12-23 18:00:20
Can you name these people?
Photo-Illustration: Rowena Lloyd and Susanna Hayward; Photos: Courtesy of The Try Guys/YouTube, @trishlikefish88/TikTok and Spotify/YouTube
In 2022, when Saturday Night Live is writing sketches about the Try Guys and TikTok users are paying to attend concerts to sing 15 seconds of a viral song, what does it actually mean to be “extremely online”? We’re all citizens of the internet now, just to varying degrees — and while some of us are better than others at navigating the latest online spectacles, possessing that sort of web fluency can no longer be characterized as chaotic, messy, hellish, or deranged. Being online is all of those things and much more; we have our bespoke “For You” pages and specific spoon-fed content meant to appeal to our interests. That’s how it’s possible for someone to scroll TikTok daily and still be unfamiliar with “womblands.” (Oh, what luck.)
This is what makes capturing a year on the internet in an end-of-year post uniquely challenging. Who am I to say what online drama you missed this year or what being online looked like for you? I’ve spent the past year writing about the internet for my newsletter Embedded, trying to make sense of the ways our relationship with the internet is changing. The project entailed keeping tabs on the…
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