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.