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8 New Phenomena That Triumphed in 2020 and We Didn’t Even Notice It

There is nothing that can make you feel as nostalgic as the smell of your mother’s perfume and a 10-year-old song, regardless of your age and the year on the calendar. At the same time, there are things that transport you to certain periods in history. For example, the 1990s are associated with Tamagotchi, F-R-I-E-N-D-S, and Macarena, the 2000s are associated with glamour and clamshell phones. It’s the year 2020 now and we wonder what things future generations will be associating this time with.

We at Bright Side decided to see what new things appeared between 2010 and 2020 that have a chance to leave an imprint on history.


15 years ago, people were doing their best to stay strong in difficult situations, to hide their real emotions, and to even look cooler than they really were. Today it’s become trendy to show your secret thoughts and worries in public. The phenomenon of when internet users share their worries and cry (both literally and figuratively) in front of a huge audience is called “sadfishing.” This term was first used in 2019 by British journalist Rebecca Reid.

Sadfishing is perceived differently: some people sincerely empathize with the person, others blame them for the hype. Some celebrities do sadfishing as well. For example, model Kendall Jenner shared her story of fighting acne on her Instagram page, while Justin Bieber has openly confessed that he has faced mental issues. Billie Eilish often cries in public and uploads posts with sad comments.

According to researchers, people with vividly expressed dark triad traits, like narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, often want to get the attention of those in their surroundings. For this reason, they are very likely to become authors of sadfishing posts.

E-girl and e-boy

E-girl and e-boy is the new subculture that represents a type of emo. They can be recognized by their bright accounts on TikTok and Instagram, their pink eye shadow, the eyeliner on their eyes, an unnatural hair color, and blush on the bridge of their nose.

The interests of emos from Generation Z vary: they play videogames, watch anime, follow internet trends, and listen to modern singers like Billie Eilish and Lil Peep.

Still, they have one big difference from the subcultures of the 2000s, who were trying to convey their ideas to society, while their flashy look and unusual outfits were there to draw attention and for self-identification.

You won’t see new emos, e-girls and e-boys, on the street, because this is not a typical subculture, but its imitation in the era of social networks. It’s the outer look that is the priority, not the ideas. In fact, it’s an alternative personality that exists only on social media.

Squatting photos

The pose called “getting leggy” has suddenly become popular not only among normal teenagers, but celebs as well. It allows you to create a bold, even hooligan-like image. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and other Insta-famous influencers can often be seen taking photos in this pose.


Many of us already know the meaning of words like “zoomer” and “boomer.” “Doomer” is a relatively fresh word and not all internet users are aware of it. Doomers are not there on the list of the official theory of generations: in fact, they are Millennials who have a pessimistic life outlook. They believe that it makes no sense to fight climate change, the depletion of natural resources, or even corruption. As a rule, these people suffer from mental disorders, can’t adapt to society, have bad habits from an early age, and listen to depressing music.

The term “doomer” was first used in the comment to Jonathan Franzen’s essay “What if We Stopped Pretending?” published in 2019 in The New Yorker journal.


Bloggers whose accounts had several hundred thousand followers were replaced by nano-influencers who have only 1,000 — 5,000 followers. Their accounts are not glamorous or polished, nor are their photos processed with dozens of filters. Thus, followers get the feeling that these influencers are friends and they end up trusting them more than the perfect girls from magazine covers.

Brands are paying more and more attention to the quality of followers, and not their quantity. Advertising with nano-influencers costs less, while their audience is more loyal than the big bloggers’ audience.

Private communities and accounts

Close friends, as well as closed communities and local groups, are the future of Facebook and Instagram and that’s what Mark Zuckerberg was speaking about a little while ago. The internet is gradually becoming more and more closed: bloggers create separate private accounts, for which they require an additional fee, while many celebs prefer to only open their pages to subscribers.

In addition, it is becoming more and more difficult to find good-quality information on the internet with such a huge layer of diverse and sometimes inaccurate info.


Masks have suddenly become one of the main visual products of Instagram, which caused the appearance of a special profession called — maskers. It’s a very fresh art, however, the technology itself has been in existence for at least 3 years. Despite the fact that masks first appeared on Snapchat, it’s on Instagram that they boomed.

The price of a mask is determined by the complexity of the project and the brand size. For example, this content performed by Berlin-based artist Johanna Jaskowska will cost you between €7,000 to €25,000.

Vertical video

Short vertical videos that are convenient to watch on smartphones have become popular on the internet recently. Oftentimes they lack any plot, but contain some nice visuals. Earlier we had only Stories, but now we have TikTok as well. Perhaps vertical song videos, movies, and streams will join this trend when they stop being experiments and become something normal.

Which unusual trends will our time be remembered by, in your opinion?

Bright Side/Curiosities/8 New Phenomena That Triumphed in 2020 and We Didn’t Even Notice It
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