From the deaths of some of our most admired celebs, a football Cinderella story and an overnight sensation that reunited 90’s kids around the world with their old furry friends, 2016 has been an eventful one, to say the least. And, can you believe we’re only three-quarters of the way through!?
Already, this year has become littered with poignant moments that have been captured, reported and written about extensively by people across the globe - and, perhaps more importantly, exposed thanks to the digital world. Due to the fast-paced nature of the media, these moments have become readily available for us to consume and chat about with our friends and peers. So, let’s explore the aforementioned sensations in a little more detail.
Leicester City’s Cinderella Story
Is it “Lie-chester or Lee-cester?”
Close to relegation from the previous season, Leicester was a club with unsettled fans who anticipated a far more damaging result in the upcoming season. As you can imagine, the future looked bleak for the 5000/1 odds football team (so bleak that Gary Lineker vowed to present ‘Match of the Day’ in his pants if they won), yet out of nowhere, the football club battled successfully to become the champions of one of the most competitive leagues in the world of football. Naturally, (as Leicester City is a relatively small team), you may think that news like this would only stretch so far, perhaps spanning the UK, or even to some corners of Europe, however, the remarkable thing about this story was that it echoed around the globe, reaching far-off lands like Australia and the USA.
But, why did a story about a small-time British team become a topic of conversation worldwide? Firstly, because it was so astounding but also because it proved that anyone not on British soil had significant difficulty in pronouncing the name of the English Premier League winners. This is what happened:
Celebrities loved and lost
For fans of music, sport, and the silver screen, there has been many a sad day in 2016 as some our much-loved stars passed away.
With a host of celebrity icons no longer with us, this year has become synonymous as the year of celebrity deaths. Charismatic characters such as David Bowie, musical geniuses like Prince and the sporting icon Muhammed Ali - all of which were polarising figures in their own way - have passed away but left their mark on the world for years to come.
As we started to descend further into 2016, it was a worrying case of which of our beloved celebrities would be next to leave us. This began to trend on Twitter with tweets such as this one:
Pokemon may seem very ‘a la nineties’, but they made a serious comeback this year, with adults and children alike when a new mobile gaming app burst onto the scene.
People went crazy over this new augmented reality app. So much so that the discussion about Pokemon Go was trending on all social media platforms, even though it wasn’t readily available to download in the UK at the time. The frustration of not being able to download the app drove the smart people of the internet to begin to blog about how to gain early access to Pokemon Go, even a reputable newspaper like The Guardian wrote an article on how to do so.
This social buzz ensured that the game quickly went viral. In fact, Pokemon Go began to overtake the hugely popular dating app, Tinder. Instead, of catching dates with other human beings, people became more invested in catching fictional virtual reality animals... who could have predicted that!?
Sanders vs Clinton
In the USA, the two candidates for the respected parties have become nominated, and the presidential nominations are just around the corner. But before this all came to light, there was the fight for the Democratic representative, and they couldn't have been further apart.
Bernie Sanders, the far-left Democratic Senator, was campaigning to represent the people of his country and speak to them far less like a politician. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, well just take a look at this...
As you can imagine, people took to the web to create their parody of the poster with topics ranging from Fight Club and Pokemon to Santa Claus. It was this user-generated content that started to set the two candidates apart while generating interest from audiences far beyond the shores of the States.
The 12th of June will be forever remembered for the horrific terrorist attack in an Orlando nightclub, where 50 victims were reported to have died or been seriously injured. Facebook was quick to react, activating their ‘safety check’ feature in response to the crisis. This allowed family and friends to check to see if their loved ones were safe and well via the social media app. Like many disasters that have occurred since the launch of the app in 2014, it was welcomed during this tragedy as a technological advance with value and the ability to bring comfort to many.
Full of many ups and downs (and much more beyond those discussed here), 2016 has been a year that has seen social media reach new heights regarding ‘shareability’. Be it social media posts, alerts, published content or user-generated videos, social media has proven to be an all-important factor in the way we communicate with others all over the world. It has the unique potential to connect us to people almost instantaneously and spread news far beyond the traditional channels of media. It has become ingrained into so many different parts of our lives and a medium many of us use on a daily basis.