Have you ever seen a dog with the face of a girl? Or your best mate with the face of their mum? Darling of iPhone camera rolls, Facebook feeds and Buzzfeed listicles alike, face swapping has become a ritual of friendship in a digital age. But what explains the lasting appeal of weirdness on the web?
"And listen up when I tell you this," raps "Weird Al" Yankovic, "I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis." To the tune of Robin Thicke's broadly discussed 'Blurred Lines', the original pastiche master rejects the socially aware parodies of Thicke's 2013 single in favour of a sillier approach.
Raised online, Gens Y and Z expertly craft virtual identities that reflect and enhance their offline lives. And increasingly, friends – or ‘squads’ – are a part of that image. As the hashtag of the moment, what does #squadgoals say about the way digital natives form and maintain friendships?
Internet memes were once relegated to the depths of 4chan and Reddit. As memetic content surfaces in the mainstream, brands are looking to incorporate memes into their own ads. But can the spontaneous, bottom-up spirit that makes them so potent really be bottled and sold?
Has social media killed the art of conversation for teens? Not according to author, social media expert and youth researcher danah boyd - who says it's "nothing more than a release valve to changes that have happened in the real world." We caught up with her to learn more.