Communicating Via Tumblr And .gifs: The whatshouldwecallme Trend

Today's post comes to us from Laura, a soon-to-be sophomore at NYU who has noticed a particular trend among her generation. They're using non-traditional media for communication. When text messaging, social media, and the rest isn't enough, they'll invent their own ways to connect, which is what happened when two law students on opposite ends of the country wanted a better way to keep in touch — so they turned to Tumblr and animated .gifs. Laura explains their story, which became a cultural phenomenon, below...

Communicating Via Tumblr And .gifs: The whatshouldwecallme Trend

The multitude of ways our generation communicates today has been a topic of fascination for years now in the wake of new technologies that range from texting to Skype chats. These methods are simple, direct, and great for keeping in touch with friends or family that could be located anywhere in the world. But for two best friends attending law schools on different coasts of the country, the available communication tools weren’t enough.

The law school ladies, who insist upon staying anonymous to the public, wanted to find a way to stay in touch and entertain each other throughout the day. They found that they could create their own funny, often self-deprecating private jokes or tidbits about their lives using captioned .gifs — short, soundless moving image clips from TV or movies. The captions, which they wrote themselves either before or after finding the appropriate .gif, truly makes the joke, since it puts the unrelated content of the image into the context of their point. For example, a .gif clip from the evening news of a culprit running away becomes the metaphor for “when my sister tries to leave the house wearing my clothes.”

The two got a laugh from these Tumblr exchanges, naming it

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I hope to be a good person that can change the world for the better. I want to be an artist and an author and a musician in my free time, and be a veterinarian as my profession.” —Female, 15, WA

Xers and Boomers may look down upon the growing subset of Millennials moving back in with mom and dad, but instead of feeling bad for themselves, these kids are making it work. A closer look at their post-grad lives is being explored in Boomerang Kids—a photojournalist series inspired by one Millennial’s experience of moving back home after draining resources as a photography assistant. The juxtaposition of reaching towards adulthood while still living in their childhood rooms paints a fuller picture of how many are living day-to-day. (Fast Company

Wendy’s may be tainting the comeback of one of their most popular items—the pretzel bun—in a #PretzelLoveSongs commercial being called out for “lazy parodying.” Those who feel nostalgic for the ‘90s hit song “To Be With You” are cringing over the Wendy’s commercial remake, and voicing their extreme distaste on Twitter. Be careful playing with Millennials’ nostalgia, because not taking it seriously could land a brand in hot water. (Uproxx)

How can we make kids exercise more? Since dragging them away from their screens is more difficult than ever, Wokamon is a new app from China that is making kids bring their devices outside and take a walk in order to feed their virtual pets. The cute aliens feed on energy, and the app’s pedometer technology measures steps, distance, and calories that add up to advance pets to new levels and unlock characters. Though targeted to kids, teens and adults can benefit from the app’s fun approach to fitness and sync it with other wearable trackers. (Springwise)

One mom’s open letter to Lands’ End asking why there have been cool science shirts designed for boys but not for girls has quickly gained momentum online with other parents this month, and pushed the brand to launch an entirely new line of science-themed tees for girls who love NASA, sharks, and the like. The brand has been accused of gender stereotyping in the past, and is addressing the posts on its Facebook page directly by rolling out new science-themed styles for girls this fall. (Huffington Post)

Digital versus unplugged is the wedding debate of late, and the line between too tech-centric and being completely disconnected is one that brides and grooms are finding difficult to straddle. Social media is increasingly being used to create wedding albums via couple-specific hashtags, but some couples are so turned off by the near constant focus on camera phones during a wedding that they are enforcing device-free ceremonies. (NYT)

Quote of the Day: "A benefit of unplugging is getting a more personal view of the world back. (Social media tends to distort your perception to bend to what others are thinking/feeling/saying/doing.)” —Female, 25, MN

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