Introducing Limelight: Your Guide to Online Trends

To help you navigate the internet universe, we bring you Limelight – a new column brought to you by our friends at creative studio Daylight.

What the heck is wrong with bespoke all? Why are so many people rocking Piratecore? What on earth is a nap dress? And why is social media therapy so damn popular? These are all extremely relevant questions and the kinds of existentialisms this column hopes to answer by observing the latest trends we’re noticing online.

Trends are vibrant because they tell us how people are feeling, what they’re thinking about, and what’s influencing their behavior. It’s less about following them and more about understanding them why.

So, in no particular order, here’s what we’ve noticed as headlines across the internet this month:

Be realistic

After over two years locked in the pandemic and watching endless content, there’s a turn back toward…reality. Think less CGI, more documentary style content. Less magical storytelling and more real-life depictions of things actually happening.

This also manifests itself in apps like Be honest– a French social media platform that encourages users to take an unfiltered snap once a day to “show your friends who you really are”. It also shows up in reality TV productions, where producers, crews, set, lighting rigs and makeup teams are now featured as part of the show. It’s like we’re all starting to admit that some parts of our lives are real and some parts are fake. People seek either sharp realism or deep flight.

Image: Bianca Cross

Surf, not serve

writer Molly Soda was was recently interviewed by the award-winning Embedded newsletterand an answer prompted a confronting thought….iIs this the end of the humble connection????

After the halcyon days of organic reach on social media and Mark Zuckerburg’s decision to delve into the algorithms to make money, apps are turning into endless service voids you don’t want to leave (TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.). . Give us discovery again! The sane channel surfing of the internet! The uncharted waters of something new!

In response? Platforms like Patreon substack take off, where developers build completely independent revenue streams outside of the walled gardens of apps with their newsletters and subscribers pay them directly for their content.

internet therapy

Lizzo’s letter Songs about panic attacksGovernments run mental health campaigns that sometimes encourage you to just be “do nothing”Therapists or forms of therapy have started their whole thing own wave on the internet – There has been a huge increase in seeking help and speaking out about things much more visibly.

All of this speaks to a broader trend of “public vulnerability” manifesting itself across the board. It’s as if the divided harrows of the pandemic have forced humanity to speak more openly about its human experiences, and this is affecting everything from diverse talent in advertising (not entirely unproblematic) to HR policies and Zoomer-like work environments .

Life is a movie, you are a character

That coastal grandmother, The messy hot auntthe main character, the Black girl soft summerthe villain era… Every week a new character archetype seems to go viral on TikTok that people like to associate with themselves or someone they know.

What does that tell us? We love being told who we are, how we are and ultimately reassured that we are not alone in our own neurosis. They are often associated with fashion trends that also signal great vibes. For example, the rise of soft garments like the “nap dress” and hoodies, which have come to the fore for a number of reasons, but namely “up at five and don’t think about work until you get paid for it.” madness of “Quiet exit” (which actually doesn’t exist). Everything is connected.

space junk

Go through a hectic time and you will never think again about this futile and fleeting existence on earth.

This trend is all about the merging of science and the cosmos. The madness is over NASA’s latest shots from space. It’s dating apps that integrate zodiac signs into their profiles, predictions from horoscope apps like co-star or recently The patternthat are posted like profile updates, and mainstream publications that hire astrologers for regular content.

We need to know that there is a reason for all this! The climate is burning, overpopulation is simmering and more than ever we need things that keep us from paving our way into oblivion.

The climate is changing

The conversation shifts from “if” it will happen to how we can change to adapt (climate deniers aside, of course).

Weather channels use artificial intelligence to illustrate significant weather events. Architecture is designed for this Cool down hot spaces in cities. It’s getting so hot on Airbnb style platforms swimply let people rent private pools. And fashion brands are releasing more products that decompress over time/claim to last a lifetime.

Time is rented and nothing is permanent. And if we didn’t know that already, we really should now.

Slow open worlds

Games that have you wandering around with no real purpose or narrative are attracting a growing following. Especially ones like Straywhere you play a cat in some sort of post-apocalyptic world just… jumping around.

Despite the setting, all the fascination with slow, open worlds has people wanting to just log on and hack around when they could just… do it in real life? Call it a backlash to real-life anxiety or just a new form of internet escapism, this style of gaming can only mimic the long, slow effort, slow reward dynamic of life itself.

Design-assisted artificial intelligence

New AI technology like DALL-E 2 has been making waves lately, which is basically computer software that creates images from text prompts typed into its user interface.

That is a significant development for the world of graphic design, leading to existentialism about how much of our labor and craft is being replaced by robots or…algorithms. How much of the magic of making art depends on the human mind? Time is beginning to tell.

Ephemeral Expertise

clubhouse (open audio chat rooms), miniature (order a celebrity for a personalized video), master class (video courses from famous experts) and now… introduction.

Celebrity guest appearances and sharing expertise are on the rise, and maybe it’s because everyone’s an expert at something these days. Intro is basically a FaceTime/Zoom-type experience that lets you book 15, 30, 45, or 60 minute video call sessions with experts to get feedback on… anything. The catch? You cannot exchange texts, links or documents, so everything is in the moment.

Imagine calling Sally Ridge for a quick do-it-yourself advice on your feature wall. Or Dane Rumble for advice on new lyrics. Dreams are free and may even look possible now.

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