The Internet can be a beautiful, awe-inspiring and collaborative place, where people from all over the world come together to share a common interest. More often than not, the Net is a horrible, horrible place that makes me want to throw my laptop against a wall. Every year we see new, awful trends – in the early 2000s, it was chain emails, and last year, it was those parodies of the “Shit Girls Say” video.
Here are the 12 worst Internet trends of 2012.
12. Angelina Jolie’s Leg
When Angelina Jolie wore a black dress with a long slit up the leg to the Academy Awards in February, her leg – which awkwardly stuck out of her dress – instantly became an Internet phenomenon.
I still don’t get the big deal besides the inherent weirdness of the whole situation, but @AngiesRightLeg is still tweeting leg puns and even inserting the leg into current events. It didn’t seem relevant – or even that entertaining – then, and it is just really stupid now.
11. Royal Baby
After the royal wedding, everyone stopped caring about William and Kate. Suddenly though, Kate’s plastered all over the Internet again, because she’s finally pregnant. Personally, I don’t exactly understand why we all should care so much – we’re a good 4,000 miles away from the royal family – but I mean everyone loves babies, and it’ll probably be cute.
Still though, unless you are the godparent or cousin or some distant relative, why in the world would you care enough to post a Facebook status about it? And that Simba joke about Kate presenting the baby to the world like Rafiki in The Lion King? Just no. They’re not royal lions, and when Michael Jackson did it, people got pretty upset.
10. CU Memes Facebook Page
Back in February, memes tailored to different college campuses popped up everywhere. I remember seeing my friends’ schools get Facebook pages and being a little jealous, because memes are the perfect way to complain, and there’s nothing I like more than complaining. When the University of Colorado Memes page finally appeared on Facebook, people were pretty excited.
The rush didn’t last long though. Everywhere you looked, there was a meme. And not only did that get annoying – especially because the same meme is only funny the first time around – people started making memes that didn’t even make sense. Slapping random complaints on random pictures isn’t exactly how memes work, but our highly intelligent student population didn’t exactly get that, which kind of just killed the appeal to the whole page.
Instagram is addicting, and I’m guilty of layering a filter on that Starbucks cup picture to make it look a little artsy. It’s fun to look at your friends’ pictures, but how many fake vintage pictures of the Flatirons, a MacBook with notes, alcohol or food can you look at before they all just look like one huge hipster blur? We can only pretend to be artists for so long before it just gets kinda sad.
The worst of all are the food pictures. I’m glad you had sushi or cookies or mac and cheese or cereal but do I need to see it in a sepia tone? No. Unless you’re eating something pretty unique, your friends – shockingly – probably do not care.
8. GIF Tumblrs – How Do I Put This Gently, What Should We Call Me, Adventures in Fratland, What Should Buffs Call Me, etc.
Some of you are probably thinking, “But those are funny!” And you’re right. They are funny. They are significantly less funny, however, when there are seven million posts from them in your feed, especially when three or four people post the same thing. I get that the pedestrians in Boulder suck, but do I really need seven people posting a reaction gif about it?
Less is more, guys. Give us some breathing room, and we’ll appreciate the Liz-Lemon-passed-out-on-the-couch gif that much more.
7. “Call Me Maybe” Parodies
“Call Me Maybe” dominated the radio and the brains of Boulder’s female population this summer. As much as I sang along this summer, I’ll be the first to admit that the song is so bad it’s almost cringe-worthy. The worst part about “Call Me Maybe” though wasn’t Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop drivel but the dozens of parodies that followed in its footsteps. There’s the dirty parody, the Obama parody, the “Don’t Call Me Baby” parody, the “Call Me Batman” parody… Usually the first parody of a hit is the best, and the subsequential videos fall flat, but I’m not sure any of these parody videos were ever funny or entertaining or anything other than awful.
6. Kony 2012
Remember back in March when you couldn’t log onto Facebook without seeing a million links to that Kony 2012 video? It’s a 30-minute video that somehow Invisible Children Inc. convinced 94 million people to view, and at first glance, it appears to be for a good cause. But many say that if you look into the organization behind the video a little bit, you’ll find that Invisible Children donates only about 30 percent of their profits to charity and supports the Ugandan military, which is responsible for some pretty awful things.
Those 94 million views represent 94 million people that the rich college kids behind the organization tried to scam into giving them money. Not only is that pretty screwed up, who knows if we’re ever going to give any activist video the same attention and trust ever again? Kony 2012 kinda ruined the game for the real players.
5. “Gangnam Style”
Unfortunately for everyone except PSY, “Gangnam Style” burst onto the social media scene basically out of nowhere. The video is funny, and the dance is funny, and the song is funny, but like most things, its hilarity decreases exponentially every time I hear it. With 900 million views, the music video is now the most watched video on YouTube. Why? Do any of us even know what he’s saying?
4. Hashtagging on Facebook
I love hashtags as much as the next girl – maybe even more than what is socially acceptable – but I love hashtags on Twitter. Where they belong. News flash, guys: Facebook isn’t Twitter. I get that we’ve kind of moved away from the traditional use of hashtagging, but the original purpose was to tag posts and to allow users to see what topics were trending on Twitter.
On Facebook, it doesn’t do anything at all. It doesn’t add your post to a filtered list of that hashtag, and you can’t look at what’s trending on Facebook, okay? So stop it. You look silly and kind of like the 60-year-old grandmother that clicks everywhere and everything when her computer freezes.
One last thing… Hashtags don’t have spaces. It’s not #go buffs, guys, it’s #gobuffs…
We get it. You only live once. You’re going to use that as an excuse to do unacceptable, irresponsible things. It’s all very intelligent.
Do we really even need to get into this?
2. Anything involving the election
If the “have you voted yet?” people on campus weren’t annoying enough, every website in the world was plastered with stuff about the election for a good chunk of 2012. Logging onto Facebook meant memes about Big Bird, airplane windows, bayonets and horses, and binders of women. Candidates’ Twitter accounts, whether fake or real, dominated the twitterverse, and Barack Obama’s Tumblr was almost inappropriately funny.
I like political humor as much as the next person, but I’ll go looking for that when I want it. I don’t want it force fed to me through my social media sites, especially when half the people on my news feed have no idea what they’re talking about.
It didn’t even stop after the election – after Nov. 6, the memes and jokes changed to “I’m moving to Canada” and “Ann Romney: secretly glad she didn’t have to move into a smaller house” stuff. People were either ecstatic or devastated, but either way, they wanted to make sure you knew.
1. That Facebook Privacy Bullshit
About every three months, my Facebook news feed is suddenly flooded with tons of jumbled legal jargon my friends post in some misguided attempt to maintain the copyright on their pictures. The whole situation is reminiscent of those chain e-mails we used to send around in sixth grade – forward to 20 people or you won’t get kissed for seven years!
Guys. That huge paragraph you just copied and pasted onto your Facebook profile doesn’t do anything – you signed your rights away when you checked that “I agree to the terms and conditions” box. All you’re doing is cluttering up news feeds and telling the world you’re as gullible as you were in middle school.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Ainslee Mac Naughton at Ainslee.firstname.lastname@example.org.