Word of the year = Goblin mode

Charlie-Helen Robinson says… I’m in goblin mode.

No, in many ways, 2022 was a very successful year. Different, but good stuff was done. The Vintage Ball was a highlight and we got to raise lots of money for grassroot charities. Big love for the VB Committee in the pic below – Laoise, Sonia, Liz, Peter and Bel.

Previous predictions list 2022; CONTENT | 2021; CALM  |  2020; CURIOUS | 2019; CHILL 2018; CONSUMERS 2017; COMMUNITY | 2016; CRUSADE | 2015; CHUCKLE | 2014; CRUSADE | 2013; CONFIDENCE | 2012; CONVERSATION | 2011; COMMENCING

Now that I know of the word Goblin though, I am in full support for thinking that the world in general is, yes, in goblin mode.

‘Goblin mode’ – a slang term, often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’ – is ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’

Although first seen on Twitter in 2009, goblin mode went viral on social media in February 2022, quickly making its way into newspapers and magazines after being tweeted in a mocked-up headline. The term then rose in popularity over the months following as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly.

Seemingly, it captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’, or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media.

So the world has changed.

People have a different outlook to when they started 2022, even though they had already been in pandemic mode for quite some time (myself included). Sure we no longer talk about social media being “new”. The courtship is over. We are far more tech savvy – with the big digital divide dying off (literally).

As of 2023, there will be approximately 4.89 billion social media users around the world. That’s up from 2.5 billion users in 2017.

When we look to how we connect (even now), it’s via Facebook.

Almost like a long term marriage, it’s always there being reliable, consistent and, dare I say it, non-controversial (acknowledging that Facebook has had it fair share of dramas and controversies – but then so do some long term marriages – they still survive). With Zuck happily married and expecting baby #3, it’s not surprising that the reliable blue branded Facebook is still hanging around. Sure, like all good dad’s, he has his “hobbies” and out of his man cave might just come some pretty cool stuff in the AI space or other in the coming years.

However, with the security risks of data, automation of tasks, misinformation and the spreading of lies, the unearthing of how other people live and what we all go through on a day to day basis, including the class divide, the grappling of life as we know it changing before our very eyes, and the social inequity of justice is just too obvious to ignore. It makes me wonder when the “next big thing” will come. I feel for the past few years, regardless of our environment and the sentiments that I talk about above, we have reached a plateau.

Lots of socials have come and gone. I have dabbled – Be.Real, etc but they are flings and not the real deal. I am courting the idea of a return to good old fashioned community values – however with a twist. Time will tell.

Our youth of the day certainly have been brought up in a completely different environment with different social behaviours to what I was. How could we say otherwise after a pandemic?

Quote: “When pandemics sweep through societies, they upend critical structures, such as health systems and medical treatmentseconomic life, socioeconomic class structures and race relations, fundamental institutional arrangementscommunities and everyday family life. A new canvassing of experts in technology, communications and social change by Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center finds that many expect similar impacts to emerge from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Asked to consider what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak of the global pandemic and other crises in 2020, some 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded. Their broad and nearly universal view is that people’s relationship with technology will deepen as larger segments of the population come to rely more on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions and essential social interactions. A number describe this as a “tele-everything” world.”

Where do you see yourself?

For me, the contemplation of no retirement, a passion to keep writing, to feeling young enough to consider old, older, and the wanting for a greater impact on my surrounding world keeps me pumping out my predictions… even if delayed by a month as “life took over”

As I ponder the coming year, and our collective futures, I can’t help but think we are all OK and on the right track. We use social media to check in with friends when we need, we share important information as required, we know personality conflicts when they arise and mange it and we are drowning out the trolls. We are OK.

I feel the next big thing will embrace modern worlds with a realistic expectation of due diligence and good customer service – because no one will tolerate anything less.

Let’s see.

In the meantime, I’m off to the beach. I might catch you later online.

Pew Research Centre Quote Reference


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