I took this photo at the Design Museum about 5 years ago, and it’s my go-to image for seasonal sparkle.
It’s been an excellent year here on the Digital Insights blog, and a huge thanks to all of you who have contributed articles, sent through feedback, and avidly read our posts. We’ve gone through our archives from the past year, and here are some of our faves:
Love in the Time of Binge-Watching: “In modern-day romance, resisting the impulse to binge so that you may watch [TV episodes] with a lover is the new equivalent of meeting the parents or sharing a sober kiss.”
Facebook’s Last Taboo – The Unhappy Marriage: “Why does the social media screen tend to go dark after the wedding, only to light up with the occasional burst of good news? Perhaps Facebook is actually mimicking the real-life personal dynamic, where once the vows are exchanged, the marital code of silence goes into effect.”
‘First!’ The People Battling for Celebrity Attention on Social Media: “Fans who feel a special relationship to their chosen celebrity will want to distinguish themselves from the mass, and one way to do this is to be the first to respond to a post or a tweet… If you can say you were the first one to acknowledge a tweet or comment on a Facebook page, it implies a special relationship with that celebrity, almost as if that individual is having a private conversation with a famous person.”
Passive, Aggressive and Pissed Off – Our Culture of Perpetual Outrage: “What’s unprecedented about the man-spreading uproar isn’t that there are people on this Earth who have the gall to take up more public space than they need, but that the parties inconvenienced by this behaviour would rather fume in silence and take discreet Instagram photos of the offending seat hoggers than ask the hoggers to move over.”
The Aspirational RSVP: Alternate title, “Facebook is Making People Flaky”; replying yes to an invitation on Facebook even though the person knows they can’t or won’t attend. “Aspirational RSVPs have become rampant…”
A Music-Sharing Network for the Unconnected: A reminder that not everyone in the world has instant access to Wifi and downloadable music, and in emerging markets, people use creative ways to tackle this; “digital-music merchants in Mali’s capital provide a vibrant human-driven alternative to iTunes.”
Winning the Breakup in the Age of Instagram: “The winner is the ex whose career skyrockets after the split; whose new wife is a supermodel; who looks better; who dates better; who has bouncier hair. It’s getting over your ex before she gets over you and leading a demonstratively successful life without her — but doing so in ways that at least look casual, just for yourself, definitely not just to rub it in her face, because you’re so over her, remember?”
How We Write Sarcasm on the Internet: “Sarcasm. It’s an Essential Part of a Healthy Breakfast™, but it’s also ‘dangerous’, especially in writing. What if ~no one~ gets that u are being sarcastic.“
Teen Voices – Dating in the Digital Age: This Pew Research report is packed with excellent digital insights, including tons of verbatims from the US teens. Like, a high school boy describes how he changes his social media status when he’s got a girlfriend: “You need to have the padlock emoji with a heart and two people holding hands.”
The Perils of Autocorrect and Autofill: Have you accidentally sent an email to the wrong person because the wrong name autofilled as you were typing the addressee? Or how about the perils of autocorrect – the funny examples abound, like this recent tweet: “Modern dating is having to delete and re-type a word six times because autocorrect kept capitalizing it and you were going for casual.“
“Wander Women” and @SocalityBarbie: “When you hear about how women use Pinterest, wedding planning and style inspiration likely come to mind. But there’s also a huge new trend percolating on the platform that focuses mainly on fantasies of independence and living freely: female solo travel.” On the other hand, a new Instagram account emerged this year [it has since closed down], poking “fun at all those insufferable people on your feed who can’t help but post a highly stylized shot of their… camping, heading off on a road trip, jumping in front of the sunset on a beach.”
Parenting in the Digital Age: Here’s one parent’s Wifi Network tactic for getting the kids to do chores; while another article looks at how a Mom’s Google search history reveals everything about her parenting concerns and challenges.
The Art of the Out of Office Reply: I have seen some excellent OOO replies in my time here at Ogilvy, and this article delves into the many creative ways that people are using theirs to stand out.
Microcomplaints: Is your social media feed full of people “carp[ing] about mediocre meals, rude customer service and that obnoxious guy at the next table who won’t shut up”? It’s the culture of microcomplaints and complaintbrags.
Twitter Cats Respond to the Lockdown in Belgium: “As the hunt for terrorism suspects intensified in Brussels, the authorities requested that Belgians refrain from posting messages on Sunday that might expose or interfere with police operations. The people of Twitter decided to respond with what will now be known as an internationally recognized symbol of solidarity: cat photos.”