It's no secret that social media is a cesspool of inauthenticity, filled with hordes of forced-smiling, perfectly lit, rehearsed posing influencers who are all selling the illusion of a happier, better lifestyle, or the repetitive indulgence of a gimmick/behavioral pattern that they think resonates with their audience.
Perfect examples are the awful, "OMG faces" often featured on YouTube thumbnails, showcasing exaggerated expressions crafted to capture people's attention due to our species' supposed innate attraction towards cringe-inducing imagery.
One woman decided to set her sights on a particular sub-genre of embarrassing, how-was-this-a-trend online behavior: millennial food bloggers recording themselves eating food.
A TikToker named Mitsy (@mitsy270) placed a camera in front of her face, showing her awaiting her dish to arrive. She's got a pair of utensils in her hands as she eagerly anticipates the moment her dish is placed before her. She contorts and gesticulates her face in a series of expressions, aimed at parodying the now played-out food blogging reactionary trend.
She exaggeratedly slurps up her noodles, pantomiming enthusiasm while doing so crossing her eyes in the process and accentuating her approval of the dish with a flourish of a chef's kiss on camera. She loudly talks into the camera straining her neck to Macho-Man-Slim-Jim-commercial proportions, commenting on how "obsessed" she is with the noodles.
Mitsy is sure to intercut random dances of her gripping chopsticks in the video while continually making faces until someone she's dining with asks her to "stop" and tells her that everyone around her is "just trying to eat."
He grabs the phone as Mitsy shrinks away, her fake happiness waning, "Why do you do this?" he asks.
There are plenty of examples of people pretending to be happy and excited by emotionally short-cutting their way towards enthusiastic behavior that everyone around them can just smell is about as real as the secondhand fat injected into a member of the Kardasian family's hips.
This woman dancing as she receives a plate of IHOP pancakes, for instance, is one of them. A woman at a table across from her throwing a gaze that's a combination of concern for our species, shame for being the same animal as the influencer, and disgust at her behavior, was thankfully captured in the clip.
Different generations are inevitably going to be embarrassed by the timely trends that folks inexplicably grasped onto for whatever reason.
There will come a day, probably soon, when folks are going to look back at why everyone and their mother was obsessed with getting veneers.
There's also the "TikTok Face" plastic surgery trend, where folks in their late teens or early 20's all, for some reason or another, are getting plastic surgery to more or less have the same exact nose, cheeks, and lip fillers.
We could add embarrassing dance trends to the list of soon-to-be-ridiculed behaviors Gen-Z'ers will more than likely be lampooned for in the very near future: a bunch of buffoons literally shucking and jiving in front of a camera in the hopes of earning a fraction of a penny per 1,000 views to help boost the plays of a popular artist's track.
All while they smile mirthlessly in front of the camera rocking tie-dye matching Champion sweat suits, or now, the Nike tech fleece get up. Combine that with a broccoli-head haircut and whatever played-way-too-much TikTok sound and you've got yourself a clip you probably wish you never uploaded to the internet in the first place.
And while there are tons of people who provide some fairly strong arguments on how social media is actively destroying our species and reprogramming our brains in scary new ways, it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon.