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Let’s Decode The New Trends Sweeping Social Media

Tiktok is now the most downloaded app in the world and the video-sharing platform has totally transformed the way we look at trends on social media, for better or worse. Whereas once, creating unique content was the most well-trodden path to digital success, the easiest way to go viral in 2022 is by jumping on a trend. And while some of these crazes do involve dancing to Doja Cat, most are a little bit more complicated (although equally bizarre).

From the weird to the wonderful, these are the 16 social media sensations you need to know about right now…

‘That Girl’

Where women share their daily routines, which mostly involve waking up early, working out, meditating and eating healthy meals. In short, ‘that girl’ is about being an aspirational version of yourself… that only exists online.

Goblin mode

An antidote to ‘that girl’, all about slobbing out and rejecting self-betterment. Great excuse to wear the same pair of tracksuit bottoms for the fourth day in a row and call yourself cutting edge.


With the rise of all things noughties, people are reclaiming the world ‘bimbo’ and its pink ‘girly’ aesthetic, celebrating how being ultra-feminine doesn’t make them less intelligent. As Paris would say, ‘That’s hot.’

The 12-3-30

The biggest fitness trend on the internet right now involves setting your treadmill to a 12% incline, with a speed of 3mph and walking for 30 minutes. A simple, low-impact, cardio workout – what’s not to love? Warning: tougher than it sounds.

The fake celebrity

Ever accepted an Oscar in front of your bathroom mirror? You’re not alone – but the new iteration is to record a fake ‘celebrity interview’ in which you act as if you’re the star. Cue the next self-deprecating yet still aspirational anecdote. Surely, it doesn’t get more meta than this.

Gen-Z Chainmail

Remember those chain letters – later chainmail (emails) – that held dire threats if you failed to pass them on? They’ve somehow survived into 2022. Usually captioned with something as simple as ‘share this video for good luck’, they prove superstition is well and alive, even among tech-savvy Gen Z.

Aka making bold and exciting choices worthy of a movie lead (good!), sometimes accompanied by the tendency to see everyone in your life as a supporting character (less good). Related to: ‘doing it for the plot’, aka making bad decisions for the jaw-dropping story you can tell later.

Aspirational lunchboxes

There’s something so pleasingly nostalgic about a packed lunch, with videos of people’s carefully prepared salads regularly going viral. But can they beat an old-school cheese sarnie and Wagon Wheel?

Corporate TikTok

Since WFH Millennials started posting about their jobs, the #corporatetiktok tag has amassed over 500 million views, with videos ranging from office-speak translations (‘let’s circle back on this’ = ‘please never speak of this again’) to people mocking their bosses (who are often also online, turns out…).

Doing hot girl sh*t

Hot girl summer might have turned out a bit of a damp squib but, online, women are now claiming nearly everything they do as ‘hot girl sh*t’, whether it’s going for a ‘hot girl walk’ or simply being in their ‘hot girl era’. Because why limit being hot to just a single season?

The feminine urge to…

‘The feminine urge to rip everything out of your wardrobe and restart’ is just one example of this popular meme, that explores women’s collective, often unspoken, desires, both serious and frivolous. And on that note, see also:

Me, an empath …

…sensing that Kim and Kanye aren’t getting on, or something equally obvious. Riffing on the less than perceptive insights of that friend who thinks they’re deeply attuned to others’ needs but is more focused on their own, it’s become a comic way to point out what should be patently clear.

POV videos

Think teenage boys attempting to be heart-throbs (‘POV: ur dating me’). These have their makers show off their acting prowess to the viewer, are usually meant to be funny – and almost always end up being weird.

‘Pick me’s

Term used for a woman who attention seeks for male validation/showcases internalised misogyny (‘I’m not like other girls…’). Pick me’ boys – men who self-deprecate and fish for compliments – are also sweeping the internet.

Villain era

The phase of your life in which you spend time looking after yourself and set healthy boundaries, putting your needs first. If that makes you Maleficent to some? So be it. Also, a suitably dramatic way to describe your post-break-up glow-up.

Looking ‘clean’

Many a beauty trend goes viral online but this one is all-conquering. A reincarnation of the no-make-up make-up look, with a focus on fluffy brows and glowing skin, inspired by the likes of Bella Hadid. Just add an oversized blazer and call it a day.

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