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It’s The Inability To Log Off For Me

A woman wearing a face mask looks at her cellphone in Beijing, China.
A woman wearing a face mask looks at her cellphone in Beijing, China.

For many reasons… 2020 was unlike any other.

Those of us who could stayed home during the pandemic. With nowhere to go, many of us retreated to the enticing glow of our phones and the corners of social media to find an escape. Suddenly, it seemed like we were all More Online than ever before.

— the lanz nightgown appreciator (@EmmaSpecter) December 23, 2020

But that shift has changed how people consume pop culture, media, and even politics. Without many choices, some people have traded pre-coronavirus normalcy for viral, chaotic memes.

We left behind traditional media consumption for Instagram Live and the world of TikTok. Meanwhile, this year has opened the floodgates for the rejection of celebrity and the communal takedown of an endless stream of Bad Posts.

In the words of Vulture’s E. Alex Jung, this is your brain on quarantine.

“As the disparity between common sense and governance has only widened, online culture has grown more disruptive. Memes increasingly have a subversive, combative edge to them — there are fewer niceties and no one is pulling their punches. (Hence, Copala memes.) There’s more s—tposting, trolling, Warholian obscenity, and an unironic love for bad things. Various interests cross-pollinate: anime meets hip-hop meets cartoons meets porn. It’s not uncommon to see a beloved childhood character getting railed by a giant penis or an anime rendering of Megan McCain crying at her father’s funeral. All are part of the local parlance.”

We talk about how media consumption has changed during the pandemic. And if you, like us, are going to try to log off more during this year…we offer some advice from the professionals.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

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