digital folklore

Utah State University Office of Research

Quoting Kristen Munson in Utah State Magazine: “In mid-January, the internet was awash in sea shanty videos on TikTok. A week later, memes of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, bundled in a Burton coat and sweater mittens, made the rounds on Twitter. Within minutes, Sanders, originally photographed at the January 20 inauguration ceremony, was Photoshopped sitting on a subway, perched on the iconic Friends couch, and on the White House lawn near a boy pushing a lawnmower. Where do memes come from and why do we love them so?”

Twitter: @kathryniveyy

Today we look at the top Digital Trends of 2020, from the fun to the profound. Each year folklore students at Utah State University track digital trends. They then meet at the end of the year to prepare a ballot that goes out to a national panel of experts in digital folklore, which selects the winning trend. Top results for 2020 include #BreonnaTaylor and #GeorgeFloyd, as well as the meme: “How It Started/How It’s Going/How It Ended,” and gender-reveal, presidential election, and Zoom meetings memes.

USU Digital Folklore Project

It’s the top Digital Trends of 2018, from the fun to the profound, on the next Access Utah. We’ll talk about the “Me Voting in 2016 vs. Me Voting in 2018” and “My Culture is Not Your Prom Dress” memes along with explorations in the digital world of #MeToo and toxic masculinity and, yes, we’ll probably end up talking about cats as well.