Welcome to Issue 3 of Volume 3: #online!
In the last couple of decades, we’ve witnessed a change in the media we consume and how we consume it. From paper to digital, offline to online, this switch has undoubtedly transformed the way we interact with information and each other. The digital age has ushered in the creation of thousands of social media platforms, all with the same intention—to keep us connected.
Naysayers would argue that despite the abundance of messages and images being pinged back and forth across the internet we feel more isolated than ever; that social media is in fact the problem rather than the solution. We’ve created a culture around online behaviours which includes establishing new words for how to act. But that begs the question: What does that mean in real life? For example, if you block someone online, does that transfer to the real world? On second thought, that’s too Black Mirror to think about!
But what about the positive side of all this information sharing? Humans have always lived in communities and online communities are no different. Before Twitter and Facebook, there were forums that brought together those with mutual interests. Don’t deny it! I know you’ve made a connection with someone on an X-Files fan forum! Or the Sailor Moon forum on Neopets! Okay, maybe that was just me, but you get the idea!
Our very own Japanese street fashion community thrived on Livejournal, frequently visiting and commenting on each other’s blogs. We used these platforms to find people who were interested in the same fashion and pop culture as us and we made friends with them. Of course, not every forum was created for the best of reasons, but no need to delve into that dark part of the internet!
Another side of this new online culture is the creation of viral crazes, whether it’s a fashion trend, challenge or meme. Like a firework, they skyrocket, explode loudly, and then disappear, never to be seen again. Google “online subcultures” and styles like Pastel Goth, Health Goth, Soft Grunge, and Seapunk appear. These particular styles can be traced back to an online source (be it a tweet or a meme) as opposed to the fashion industry or the streets. And like most viral fashion trends, they’ve been forgotten—until now!
In this issue, we are focussing on all things internet, and most importantly, our online community! Our articles explore the communities that exist in various online spaces and their fashion culture, while our photoshoots celebrate online subculture styles—but with an editorial eye. And in the spirit of #online, all of our shoots will be conducted with iPhones or webcams, and edited with photo editing apps that can be downloaded by anyone!
Part One, #instafamous, focuses on instagrammers. Those who love to share their style and daily goings on, and have amassed large followings in doing so. We take a look behind the camera and discover the world behind the filtered fantasy.
Part Two, titled #streamer, features those who aren’t afraid to vlog every aspect of their lives on Youtube. They give you a behind the scenes look, as well as a blooper reel showing off their style, beauty routine, and anything else their audience wants to see!
Part Three, #ekidz, is all about the new kid on the block: TikTok! It’s not quite social media, but it’s not quite a video streaming platform either. What we do know is one viral video and you’ve suddenly gained a million followers. Want to know how? Read our exclusive interview with Sarah aka @ohsokawaiixoxo!
We hope you join us as we fall down an internet rabbit hole! You can also support our online community by using the hashtag #thecommoffline to share your thoughts and outfits on social media!