SO we’ve made it through Christmas in one piece and New Year still to come. Now then is a perfect time to take a look back and see what 2013 brought us. What surprised us, what made us shake our heads in disbelief and what most of us probably spent hours doing - whether we want to admit it or not?
TIME magazine’s top ten of everything list may be a little US-centric, but their Top 10 Buzzwords of 2013 is a great indicator of pop culture and social media trending. So here it goes:
- Binge-watch. Downloading from Netflix or similar service an entire series of your new favourite show and watching it for hours on end. It’s been around as long as the DVD box set, but 2013 saw binge-watching go mainstream.
- Shutdown. Not a new phrase, but the thoughts of the entire US government just stopping sent shivers down the spine. Shutdown suddenly equated to the apocalypse.
- Selfie. The self-portrait snap taken with a smartphone and posted – sometimes unwisely – to social media. Obama’s done it, so it must be cool.
- Twerk. Provocative, hip-thrusting dancing is nothing new, but Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Awards in August put twerking firmly in the public consciousness.
- Catfishing. The act of conning somebody by using a false online identity. Hit the headlines when American footballer Manti Te’o was fooled into believing his online girlfriend had died. It turned out to be nasty hoax by a male acquaintance of the linebacker.
- Snapchatting. Another case of a tech company name becoming a verb. We now Google information, Skype our friends and Facebook an event. Snapchat allows user to send messages and text, and 2013 saw its popularity explode.
- Whistleblower. Hardly a new phrase, but Edward Snowden‘s revelations about just how much the NSA has been snooping on everybody, from regular citizens to heads of state will have repercussions that may last years.
- Bitcoin. Digital currency bitcoin made headlines all year: from its legality being questioned, to its use by speculators and theft by cyber-thieves.
- Emoji. We used to use a simple J to express happiness in a text message, but 2013 saw everything from clinking champagne glasses to glum looking monkeys invade our world. Emoji even entered the Oxford online dictionary this year.
- Thanksgivvukkah. One for our American friends, a clever if somewhat unpronounceable portmanteau celebrating the rare occasion of Thanksgiving and the first day of Hannukkah falling on the same day this year. It won’t happen again for another 79,000 years at least.