Groupie Trend

A few days ago, while keeping Coronavirus social distancing policy – my family held a collective online conference video-call (with WhatsApp). Out of four separate near locations, we gathered online for live brief catch-up. For concluding our digital interaction, my father intuitively asked me: “Son, take a screenshot picture.”

While clicking on my smartphone screenshot batons, I couldn’t help but wonder about my father’s unexpected request. It’s a request for capturing and preserving the private moment we had as a family. A possible explanation for the request can be given by the social transformation and the communication process change; the fact is that my family usually doesn’t interact with group video chat. For that, I can acknowledge my father’s essential intention to document and preserve this surrealistic situation.

The transformation to online interaction isn’t just a one-family manner. Without any doubt, COVID19 global crisis has a huge intricacy for all humanity and changing our daily routine. Besides the medicinal and financial damage, social habits dramatically are changing as well; People all over the world staying home and probably interact unconventionally. Rather of a physical.

אִם כְּבָר לְבַד אָז שֶׁיִהְיֶה בִּתְנוּעָהבמסגרת מעבר פעילות המשרד למתכונת חירום, צוערי מחזור ל״ו שמחים ומודים על…

פורסם על ידי ‏קורס צוערים – משרד החוץ‏ ב- יום ראשון, 22 במרץ 2020

relationship and seeing each other face-to-face – most of the communication is shifting online. Starting with the high school teachers along with their students, and moving to academic lectures or employees, managers, brands and their stakeholders, and of course families, friends and partners – we all are keeping in touch through video chats online. Thankfully there are many technologies (both in mobile apps and desktop applications), such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Teams, Unicko, Skype, and many more.

So, can people use that kind of online communication without sharing? I guess at the current moment the logical answer is – probably not. It’s a huge change and so people have the desire to share this activity with others. A peek glance to social-media newsfeeds posts (or stories) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even LinkedIn, has evidence of a new trend; photos of multi-participant meetings that token in online conversations. Individuals and brands taking screenshots of their online-social-group-interaction, saving and sharing the picture. The trend is observed in multiple interpersonal communication. Starting with family conversations, friend meetings, and professional meetings in various areas (Examples below).

Hence, the Coronavirus is probably the rising point of the “Groupie” phenomenon (Group screenshot online). Thank you, “Selfie”. Humanity had a long run with you.

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About the Author
Itzhak Mashiah is a PhD candidate at the Department of Communication - University of Haifa. Itzhak’s studies focus on innovation , technology, tech-media coverage, and marketing. Itzhak is a strategic specialist and lecturer at Sapir Academic College.
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