In the middle of a global pandemic, the internet has found a way to have a laugh with new trends, memes and dances arising every day.
During a time of social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, many are on their smartphones constantly during the day. According to Statista, data from a March 2020 global survey revealed a 70 percent worldwide increase in mobile phone use as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak. This has left ample time for new trends to start and old ones to revive.
At the center of the latest internet craze is Bill Clinton. The former U.S. president is found on Instagram stories holding a vinyl record and surrounded by other records. Users are using the website billclintonswag.com to add their four favorite albums in the template. According to Know Your Meme, the website billclintonswag.com was made in 2012. The original picture of Clinton traces back to a 1999 article by The Onion but was revived into the current meme.
Social media story templates on Instagram and Snapchat are also circulating bingo cards with various titles, such as “Social distancing check” and an App State bingo card. Players mark their bingo cards as they see fit and tag others to fill out their own cards.
Freshman sociology major Alexia Bojorquez Armenta said the rise in internet use is a coping mechanism during quarantine.
“We can’t see anybody. We can’t see anybody at all,” Bojorquez Armenta said. “More people are on the internet, and this is the way we choose to help us get through it, honestly.”
Another story trend on Instagram is the “30-day song challenge,” where users post a song that accompanies a daily prompt, such as “A song that makes you want to dance” or “A song you like with a number in the title.”
Users circle the prompt they’re responding to and add audio through Instagram’s music library. Followers and friends can enjoy learning about others’ listening habits while for oneself, the exercise can lead users to find out more about their own music taste altogether, after completing the challenge.
Bojorquez Armenta said the challenge provided more music for her own playlists.
“It allowed me to branch out to other types of music that I wasn’t aware my friends were listening to.”
Another commonly used app is TikTok, home to viral dance trends, comedy sketches and tutorials. A New York Times analysis from online data providers, SimilarWeb and Apptopia, show a shift in internet usage behavior. TikTok has seen a 15.4 percent increase in traffic from January 21 to March 24, going from 16M to 19M users.
TikTok users learn choreographed dance routines to songs such as Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” or Doja Cat’s “Say So” while at home. New dances trend every day with users attempting to learn and perfect every one.
Sophomore electronic media broadcasting major Sirravada Norng said creativity has spiraled while at home because “social media has become the main way to connect with people during quarantine.”
“We have to find ways to entertain ourselves without actually leaving home,” Norng said.
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