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Introducing ‘Scrolling in the Deep,’ your internet slang guide

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Gisselle Hernandez


Scrolling in the deep is a weekly column that tells defines internet slang you need to know to operate online. It runs on Wednesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter—but only our most dedicated readers get it.

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Have you ever found yourself scrolling through TikTok–or worse, Instagram reels–only to come across a video of a kid saying, “What the sigma?” You skip it, but the very next video is an odd rendition of a “Fortnite” song, with lyrics like “rizzler,” or “skibidi.”

Being out of the loop with “kids these days” used to be perfectly fine, but now you just feel like a Boomer whenever a teen says, “Get me out of Ohio” when they’re clearly thousands of miles away from the state.

Fortunately, I’m here to help

I’m Gisselle Hernandez-Gomez, the weekend editor at the Daily Dot, and me and my questionably high screen time (we don’t talk about the 10-hour daily average) are the brain-rotted oars to guide you through the stormy seas that is Gen Z and Gen Alpha’s TikTok. 

A microcosm of the Youth at Large

Gone are the days of TikTok as a dancing app–the scarily intuitive algorithm has brought us an insurmountable number of unethical life hacks, entertained us with relationship drama, and helped us learn more about ourselves than perhaps our own therapists.

As of this year, the app has surpassed 1.7 billion active users monthly. Whether you are one of them is irrelevant–it’s nearly impossible not to be a participant in the mega-viral clips that spill over to Twitter–er, X–and good ol’ Facebook.

While our Trending desk already covers many of these viral videos, there is one load-bearing pillar of TikTok culture that millennials and other internet users need help translating: The Gen Z/Alpha Corner.

Apart from being aware of “trends” or what the “tea” is these days, you’ll find it’s crucial to be versed in what our younger counterparts currently find important

Buzzwords that we now see plastered in marketing campaigns or send ironically to our 30-odd-year-old friends were mostly made popular by Gen Z and Gen Alpha (looking at you, “slay.”) 

Learning these terms and where they come from will allow you to graduate from just an observer to actively shaping the cultural zeitgeist

Not only will your newfound knowledge foster a better connection with the youth in your life, but you’ll be able to communicate more effectively in online spaces.

The youth of today are bed-rotting while coming up with new insults 

We’ve already suffered through Gen Z’s laughing emoji debacle and bore the brunt of ankle sock shaming. Now, with terms like “mogged,” “rizz,” and “gyat,” it’s almost impossible to understand whether a teen is insulting you or complimenting your fit.

With Scrolling In the Deep, you’ll get the scoop on the cool corner of the internet without feeling like a Boomer.

From teaching you how to properly use “Fanum tax” to explaining why teens can’t stop saying “skibidi toilet,” I’ll be the proverbial bridge between you and today’s teens.

Hopefully, after reading Scrolling in the Deep every week, you’ll leave armed with new slang to impress your 9-year-old nephew. At the very least, you’ll understand why someone commented, “Post this on IG reels” on a TikTok video of you lipsyncing to Ice Spice.

Keep an eye on your inboxes next Wednesday where we’ll break down “mewing” (it may not be what you think!)  

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

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