It’s no secret that 2020 was unlike anything any of us were expecting.
For most of the year, we were living with COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and a totally altered way of living.
While staying home was all about staying healthy and safe, we all had to find ways to not lose our cool.
Whether it was finding distractions to occupy our time like a juicy docuseries, or adjusting our everyday routine for comfort-sake (shoutout to not wearing jeans) -- 2020 had us living in ways we’ve never lived before.If you were to ask me this time last year how I felt about TikTok, I would have told you that I simply didn’t understand what it was and that I would be unlikely to download it.
Fast forward to now, and I’m addicted.
So what are some other top obsessions of 2020?
DIY Specialty Coffee:
Coffee has always been so versatile: it’s a home drink, an on-the-go drink, it can get your day started or add some baileys and it’s a nightcap. People love coffee and would realistically sacrifice a lot for that bitter, caffeine ridden cup of goodness.
It’s no shocker that once we were ordered to stay home, that different takes on coffee started to become popular. Who needs the skill of a Starbucks barista when you can do it yourself? The first twist of the year on a classic cup of joe was “Dalgona coffee,” which is essentially instant coffee whipped with water and sugar, served over milk.
While this isn't a new way to create coffee (my maternal grandma has been whipping coffee most of her life), it became something that took on a life of its own, and you were likely seeing most people spooning their whipped creations into coffee cups on IG stories for quite some time, and it still hasn’t seemed to have ended.
Depending on your feed on TikTok, coffee lovers are still continuously showing their favourite way to make iced-coffee at home, because well, thanks to ‘rona, it’s our only option.
Ah, yes, the famous yeast and flour shortages of 2020. How could we forget?
At the beginning of the pandemic and the restrictions that accompanied it, it felt like there wasn’t much to do other than Facetime your loved ones, watch Netflix, sleep, or maybe the occasional socially distanced walk to see the outside world.
But in the midst of all the immediate laziness, many took to baking bread to fill the time.
For some, baking was a way to get off the couch and do something requiring movement and a sense of accomplishment, while for others, baking brought with it a sense of comfort.
Whatever the reason, those stuck at home were baking so much that yeast and flour, like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, became hard to acquire in the early days of the lockdown.
The "New Normal" AKA Leisure wear
The transition from being out in the world to being stuck at home was not an easy one.
But there was one major upside to it: being able to dress comfortably.
While there was lots of conversation surrounding getting ready to work from home, let’s be real,most of us were trying to get away with not showing our bottom half on Zoom calls.
And so, the world embraced comfy bottoms.
Whether you were in pajama pants, sweatpants, yoga pants, or no pants at all -- the vibe was definitely to keep yourself feeling comfortable.
While dressing comfy isn’t necessarily a distraction from the whirlwind of a year that was 2020, loungewear sure did become a way of living, so much so that sweatpants and comfy clothes were the must-have items of the year.
Seriously, nearly everyone you know has this sweater/blanket all-in-one.
While docuseries are by no means a new craze, there was something special about the content we were given for this year, especially while everyone was stuck inside as a captive audience.
Once the phenomenon known as Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was released, it was as if every single person who was active on social media was invested.
We needed content to keep us captivated, and unexpectedly for all of us, the life stories of zoo owner Joe Exotic and his nemesis Carole Baskin seemed to do the trick.
Perhaps it was the chaos of the show during a chaotic time in the world that allowed so many to become engrossed in the series.
Even though Tiger King could probably count as its own obsession, there were quite a few other docuseries to keep us glued to our screens.
The Last Dance was one that had sports fans and pop culture fans alike tuning in to the weekly episode drop. The series, which focuses on Michael Jordan’s career and followed the 1997-98 season he played with the Chicago Bulls, had fans hooked. Every week, fans of the show gathered on social media to connect and share memes on the new stories that would emerge about MJ.
Needless to say, getting invested in docuseries helped us get through the year.
If you haven’t spent your time scrolling through TikTok and its general greatness, you’re obviously missing out.
Since it’s rebrand from Musical.ly to TikTok in 2018, the video-sharing social media platform has become increasingly popular as a way for creatives and everyday people to express themselves on whatever topic they choose.
However, even with its established popularity prior to the pandemic, some still weren’t convinced.
People namely millennials, loved to shrug TikTok off as something that was more for the younger generations like Gen Z. I was among these social media elitists, and up until the pandemic, I simply wasn’t interested.
But the platform has become a place that many can go to distract themselves from the perils of the world or to explicitly laugh and cry at the situation we’re all collectively going through.
Many creators were able to grow their following by channelling these similar feelings around the pandemic such as Elsa Majimbo, a Kenya-based comedian who is best known for her dry humour, munching on chips and the famous words “it’s a pandeeeeeemic.” Canadian content creators such as Toronto’s Boman Martinez-Reid (@bomanizer) and Vancouver’s Kris Collins (@kallmekris) have also found great success in TikTok during the pandemic.
In 2020, TikTok became more than just a place for people to giggle at funny videos, it became a place for people to escape, to come together, to share their stories, and to mobilize as activists. This platform has taken on a life of it’s own, and whether you’re looking for a laugh, to keep up with the latest memes, to sell a product, or start a movement, if you’re not on Tik Tok -- you might get left in 2020.