The internet vernacular

I’m fascinated by this micro-trend of video that replicates the experience of using modern communication software, especially messaging and social media. For example, this music video by the Japanese artist, Aimyong, which takes place almost exclusively in Line messenger:

And the video for the song Run and Run by the Japanese girl band, lyrical school, has taken the idea even further, playing with the whole iPhone interface. More than that, it’s formatted for mobile, so looks brilliant when viewed full screen on your phone.

This idea isn’t exclusive to music videos. The BBC Media Action team recently released Your Phone is Now a Refugee’s Phone, a short film showing the importance of the smartphone to the modern refugee. It’s educational and empathetic.

A short film from 2013, Noah is a romantic drama that’s set on desktop and mobile, and uses not only the language of internet comms, but also its effects — the paranoia that Facebook can bring to relationships (NB this film is NSFW).

And the 2015 film Unfriended carries the conceit even further; it’s a full-length horror story that takes place on a single desktop across Skype, messaging, and the web browser, with a story that’s drawn from real online life.

These videos could not have been made ten years ago; they rely on a shared knowledge of technology (and the smartphone especially) that’s only been common since around 2008. They use the dialect of the globalised online population: the internet vernacular.

I’d love you to send me more examples if you know of any.


Also published on Medium.