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This week on the internet: The chaotic start to 2022

Plus: The Wordle craze, explained.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 7, 2022   Updated on Jan 7, 2022, 12:19 pm CST

Welcome to the Friday edition of Internet Insider, where we review the week online.


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The first week of 2022 is already chaotic 

What energy is guiding you through the beginning of 2022? For some, it’s a chaotic energy—like Pabst Blue Ribbon’s (now deleted) tweet about what you should do instead of Dry January. Or perhaps you’re following Elmo in his refusal to believe a pet rock is real. “The way @elmo refuses to let Zoey gaslight him is the kind of energy I’m bringing to 2022,” tweeted @LilyMarsWrites. There’s a lot of “fuck it” energy going around.

Part of that is because we’ve now entered year three of the pandemic, and the U.S. hit over a million cases on Monday. Looking ahead is difficult. But people are still trying to make the best of 2022, either by playing the latest popular online word game (see below), or by attempting to resuscitate old fashion trends. Strap in. This is going to be another weird year.

Tiffany Kelly, culture editor

In Body Image


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What’s the deal with Wordle?

Wordle, a daily word game that tasks players with guessing a five-letter word within six tries, has taken over Twitter in the wake of the new year. Sure enough, the memes are starting to take over, as well. 

Even if you’ve never played Wordle, you might recognize it from the emoji that have cropped up on Twitter lately. The tweets usually include a string of green, yellow, and black or white squares. 

It’s a low-stakes game that costs nothing to play—you don’t even need an app for it, you access to a website—but the emoji formatting lets you brag about solving the puzzle. Plus, once you learn the backstory of how Josh Wardle originally created the game for his partner, the game even becomes a little romantic.

Read the full story here

Michelle Jaworski, staff writer


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Is a twee ‘revival’ happening on TikTok?

With the new year comes a new trend revival courtesy of TikTok, though, ultimately, Zooey Deschanel (who joined TikTok last year) might be responsible here. 

As Embedded recently suggestedTikTok seems to be experiencing a “twee revival,” though not so much twee as it relates to British indie music of the ‘80s and ‘90s. No, this is twee of the 2010s Tumblr variety. 

The 2008 She & Him song “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” accompanies many of the TweeTok videos. (It’s been used in more than 3,600 TikToks.) This aesthetic revival might also coincide with the 2009 Deschanel rom-com (500) Days of Summer arriving on Hulu last year. 

Read the full story here

Audra Schroeder, senior writer

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*First Published: Jan 7, 2022, 11:43 am CST