Whether or not 2020 was actually the most outrageous year in human history, it felt that way thanks in no small part to the internet, which has made it possible for news that would’ve once been buried in the back of a local paper to spread around the globe at a breakneck pace.
It felt like there was never a single moment where a story came out to prove how wrong anyone who’d asked themselves, “There’s no way this year can get any more absurd, right?” was. Whether it was murder hornets, the American government essentially admitting aliens exist, or Jake Paul fighting Nate Robinson on the same card as a 50-year-old Mike Tyson, something crazy was happening every single day.
Of course, it goes without saying that there was one development that firmly overshadowed all of the rest: Chris D’elia getting Canceled.
Oh, and there was also that “pandemic” thing.
If you didn’t spend all of your time on social media before 2020, that probably changed this year. It’s almost as if these tech companies were smart enough to realize they’d benefit from a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that forced everyone to seek out distractions after being confined to their homes. Do I have any evidence to support that claim? No, but the onus is on other people to prove me wrong. That’s how conspiracy theories work.
Everyone had their own way of describing what self-isolation was like—including Ellen Degeneres, who spent 2020 proving that she’s one of those grounded and down-to-earth celebrities who understands the plight of the average person with jokes like this.
Ellen does her first show from home: “Being in quarantine is like being in jail. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.” pic.twitter.com/DH1ywZKAqR
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 6, 2020
Amidst all of the chaos, it was nice to know some things hadn’t changed, because the last thing we needed was to learn a wholesome comedian who uses her talk show to bring joy into the world by dancing and giving people free stuff treated her staff like shit and turned a blind eye to allegations of rampant harassment and exploitation of her employees.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive
Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
Oops. How did that tweet get in there? Oh well. I can’t delete it now.
Of course, a broken clock that will fire you for having the nerve to ask what time it is can still be right a couple of times per day, and Ellen had a point. The whole situation did feel like prison in a way, and it felt like someone was going to accuse you of murder whenever you left your house. In a world where human interaction was at a premium, social media provided the next best thing.
When you consider how many things felt like ancient history a week after they dominated the headlines, it can be easy to forget just how much stuff unfolded over the course of 2020, so I felt compelled to take some time to sit down and look back on everything that went down and, more importantly, the fantastic Content we were treated to in its wake.
To put everything in context, I threw together a timeline of a year that began as it usually does: with people waking up on January 1st to celebrate National Hangover Day and people over the age of 23 waking up on January 2nd to celebrate National Hangover Day Pt. II.
On the third day of the month, anyone who rolled out of bed and checked Twitter was treated to a trending hashtag you typically don’t want to see when you wake up.
World War III? What the fuck? When I went to sleep, my biggest worry was that the hangover I was still nursing would still be there when my alarm went off only to be informed I might get drafted? However, in a preview of what would define the year, the whole situation kind of blew over pretty quickly but things were just getting started, as the rest of the month featured events like:
January 13th: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave the royal family. The only reason I knew about it is that I was a big Suits fan, and even though I didn’t really care, in hindsight, this should’ve been a major red flag that this was not going to be a normal year.
January 16th: Donald Trump gets impeached but doesn’t really get impeached and the entire situation sparks nothing but polite and civil discourse.
January 29th: The world is blindsided by the death of Kobe Bryant. As a casual basketball fan, I didn’t expect this to impact me the way it did, but all of the stories and tributes that surfaced in the wake of his passing made me realize how big of a loss it was.
It was safe to say people couldn’t wait for January to end—including this guy who sent out this tweet less than two weeks into it.
2020 has been the longest year of my life.
— John Hultquist (@JohnHultquist) January 14, 2020
Oh, you sweet, sweet summer child.
When February rolled around, there was a noticeable uptick in the number of people who were talking about some illness that was spreading, and I remember sitting in my apartment a few days into the month and telling my roommate, “I’m way more worried about WWIII than some silly virus.” He, on the other hand, thought the complete opposite, which resulted in me laughing in his face for being such a paranoid idiot.
It turns out I may have been a little off-base on that one.
February wasn’t the most exciting month, but as we’d soon learn, it was just the calm before the storm that rolled in seemingly overnight when all hell broke loose because Rudy Gobert touched some microphones toward the beginning of March, providing the world with proof that karma exists in the process.
Sources say Gobert is feeling good, strong and stable — and was feeling strong enough to play tonight.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
This really marked the beginning of the end, as the NBA shut down, the rest of the sports world soon followed, and then most of the actual world followed suit.
From that point on, things started going downhill like those dudes in England who risk spending the rest of their life in a wheelchair in pursuit of a wheel of cheese—as evidence by this timeline that only scratches the surface of the series of major events that unfolded from there:
- March 16th: The stock market crashes
- March 18th: The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020 starts to bring America to its knees
- March 20th: Tiger King Mania begins
- April 25th: Kim Jong-un is dead!
- April 27th: Kim Jong-un is not dead!
- April 28th: The government basically admits aliens exist
- May 4th: Murder Hornets
- May 25th: People begin to take to the streets to protest police brutality and we never had to worry about it again
- July 14th: Ghislaine Maxwell gets arrested
- July 15th: Twitter gets hacked and Blue Checkmarks are unable to tweet about not being able to tweet
- July 23rd: Dr. Fauci tries (and fails) to throw a first pitch
- August 4th: The Beirut Explosion
- November 3rd: Election Day
- December 13th: The federal government gets hacked
- December 31st: This blog
Despite the uncertain nature of these times, there was one thing we could safely rely on whenever an unexpected development unfolded: people on the internet using it to make some fantastic Content.
The one upside of having a crippling social media addiction is that I’ve become a bit of a scholar in that realm. None of that knowledge has any real-world applications, but it does come in handy if you want to stage a virtual ceremony to honor the best things the internet had to offer in 2020—which is exactly how I decided to close out the year.
The 2020 Social Media Awards Show
1. Half-Naked at Wawa
Insane fight at wawa. Crazy to see such high level grappling out in public. pic.twitter.com/iziIVVqmMn
— jerry can trill (@diehardshithead) November 23, 2020
2. The Twisted Tea Knockout
The dude drops the N-word and gets settled with a Twisted Tea. ￼ pic.twitter.com/QyuwY59s55
— Joshua Rodriguez (@Joshuajered) December 28, 2020
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t include this masterpiece.
Dave Matthews Band- Twisted Tea Marching pic.twitter.com/66YYIdjJKT
— Spr33zy (@FPSpr33zy) December 28, 2020
3. Clay Travis vs. Darren Rovell
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 18, 2020
Nominating myself would be a conflict of interest but I think I zinged them both pretty hard.
Personally, my favorite fight was Travis vs. Rovell. I was enthralled every time they went at it on Twitter. However, I’m a man of the people and know that particular beef wasn’t for everyone. I would really love to go with the Twisted Tea Incident, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t really a fight; it was more of just an embarrassing drunk reprimanded with a huge blow to the face.
The Wawa Fight, on the other hand, was unbelievable. I rarely watch internet brawls from start to finish, but that was so entertaining, I watched it multiple times.
Winner: Half-Naked at Wawa
Best Popular Trend
1. Flip The Switch
This was a trend on TikTok where people would dance to Drake’s “Nonstop, and when he says “I just flipped the switch,” the lights would suddenly go out like a whodunnit movie only for the people on screen to have magically teleported when they reappeared.
Here are a couple of examples for the uninitiated.
2. How it Started vs. How It’s Going
This was all the rage on Twitter and featured people posting their glow-up or (if they had a sense of humor) glow-down. I personally hate almost every trend on that particular platform, as it’s usually just an amusing concept getting beaten to death thanks to countless unamusing attempts at humor.
However, I can’t let my feelings get in the way of the fact that this was popular throughout 2020, so I had to include it here.
HOW I PULLED UP: HOW WE COMING 😂 pic.twitter.com/hIYyicrfIj
— QuavoYRN (@QuavoStuntin) October 7, 2020
3. Nature is Healing
Oh good. Another Twitter trend (which I actually liked at first before it was inevitably ruined). This one started in March as nature actually started to heal a bit after people were forced to cut back on the activities they usually rely on to ruin the environment, which spawned jokes about other ways a terrible situation was inadvertently making the world a better place.
with everyone on lockdown, the lime scooters are finally returning to the river. nature is healing, we are the virus. pic.twitter.com/I0IbCfiMnj
— ron ronson (@taladorei) March 26, 2020
4. He Got All The Drugs and I Got All The Guns
TikTok was far and away the best source of entertainment this year, and while I don’t know how this specific trend started, I do know it produced some fantastic videos. The idea here is to switch roles—for example, if a guy and a girl were dancing together, she’d act super “hard” and dress like a dude before he comes out in traditional female garb and busts out some moves traditionally reserved for the opposite sex.
I don’t know why, but seeing guys dressed in crop tops and strutting their stuff as they drop it low really did it for me, and as a result, it takes home the nonexistent trophy here.
Winner: He Got All The Drugs and I Got All The Guns
Best Worst Celebrity Video
1. “Imagine” by Gal Gadot and Famous Friends
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 19, 2020
This one speaks for itself.
2. Vote! Naked…
After realizing threatening to kill people if they didn’t vote wasn’t the most effective strategy, celebrities decided to pivot a bit in 2020 by getting naked for reasons they attempted to explain but I never came close to understanding.
Celebs including @SarahKSilverman, @TiffanyHaddish, and @chrisrock are stripping down to bring attention to naked ballots and encourage voters to follow vote-by-mail instructions (via @representus) pic.twitter.com/VMr3LVY2C7
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 7, 2020
3. Cool Guy Paul Rudd
This has nothing to do with the message of the video and everything to do with the fact that not even Paul Rudd could save a video that was even more cringeworthy than the ones it was attempting to mock. I’m not mad, Paul. I’m just disappointed.
Certified young person Paul Rudd wants you to wear a mask. Listen up: pic.twitter.com/GTks5NUBmR
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 14, 2020
In the end, though, this one was over from the start.
1. 420doggface208 Vibin to Some Fleetwood Mac
This is just a guy being a dude, riding his skateboard, listening to Fleetwood Mac, drinking juice from the bottle, and straight-up vibing. What’s better than that?
To say this went viral is an understatement. It’s all you saw for weeks. It’s a cool, feel-good video, and Ocean Spray thanked him for the free publicity with a free truck. It’s hard to believe a clip as simple as this one changed someone’s life, but that’s exactly what happened.
2. Moms Gone Wild
This was a semi-trend that blew up when these moms made this video, which inspired a bunch of remixes that helped boost its profile and almost always resulted in the third mom getting made fun of.
3. The Andy Milonakis Space Space Tweet
Of all of the crazy things that happened in 2020, Andy Milonakis making a dumb joke about a space mission that ended up being one of the most-liked tweets in the history of the website is certainly up there so there was no question this had to be nominated.
Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice
— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) May 30, 2020
Zing! Thanks, folks. Be sure to tip your bartender.
How do you not go with 420doggface? I don’t know much about the guy, but he seemed to just be a regular-ass dude who now owns a truck paid for by Ocean Spray, has his own merch line, and hangs out with Snoop Dogg. What a world.
Winner: 420doggface208 Vibin
Social Media Rookie of the Year
1. Charli D’Amelio
If you haven’t heard, TikTok has created stars essentially overnight. They go from nobody dancers to people with millions of followers (and dollars). Charli is a prime example of this. With 104 million followers, she’s the most popular person on the platform by far, as the runner-up has a measly 72 million. That’s insane.
The craziest part is she did all of this in one year. She started to blow up last December and rolled into 2020 with a paltry one million followers. Now, she is the most popular creator on the app and made enough to move her entire family to Los Angeles. Must be nice.
2. Addison Rae
Addison is the aforementioned runner-up, and while she’s currently trailing, I think she’s going to end up being the most “successful” person who can credit TikTok for their initial fame.
Charli may have more followers, but Addison has done more with her following so far and has this “aura” about her. She’s also best friends with Kourtney Kardashian and seems poised to follow in her footsteps as one of those people who is famous even though no one can really explain why that’s the case.
3. Bryce Hall
Bryce got his big break dancing shirtless in the mirror while lip-syncing, but has since developed a reputation as a bit of a bad boy that makes him poised to ascend to the throne Jake Paul currently resides on. Of the many “TikTok Boys” who occupy the Sway House, he’s really the only entertaining one, and in turn, the only one who’s actually deserving of any real success. Oh, he also dates Addison Rae.
Now, I would love to pick my man Bryce here, but Addison has used 2020 to transform herself from a small-town Louisiana girl into a member of the Hollywood Elite. You can’t top that.
Winner: Addison Rae
Social Media Person of the Year
1. Jake Paul
I wrote an entire article attempting to decipher the enigma that is Jake Paul, and even if there’s no one on the planet you’d like to punch in the same way he decked Nate Robinson, you can’t deny he dominated 2020. Whether he was throwing a massive house party in the middle of a pandemic or having that same house raided by the FBI, it was impossible to avoid him regardless of how much you may have wanted to.
2. Mr. Beast
I hate this dude, but I had to put him on here because he’s somehow figured out a way to get rich by giving people money. He’s only 23 years old and just opened up 300 restaurants across the country…where they pay you to eat.
You probably have a lot of questions, but unfortunately, I don’t have any answers for you.
3. David Dobrik
It seems like David Dobrik has literally two things in his job description:
- Commenting on people’s posts
- Giving people a Tesla
Like Mr. Beast, I’m not exactly sure how he’s earned the money that’s allowed him to purchase the $8 million house he bought, and like Mr. Beast, I can’t deny he’s doing something right, so he earned a nomination.
However, Jake Paul is the clear winner here. All he does is create content, make money, and have sex with extremely attractive women. Sure, he’s a cocky asshole, but it’s worked out pretty well for him.
Winner: Jake Paul
That’s all I’ve got as far as major awards are concerned, but I’d also like to hand out a few superlatives to some other people whose contributions to 2020 can’t be ignored.
Most Likely to Switch Careers: Ben Shapiro (Rapping)
Ben Shapiro reads "WAP" lyrics pic.twitter.com/bIVH1Pnwvx
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 10, 2020
Most Likely to Mess Up Their Starbucks Order: Whoever runs the San Miguel Sherrif Twitter account
Large boulder the size of a small boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 mm78 at Silverpick Rd. Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area. pic.twitter.com/EVMmDf0IJu
— San Miguel Sheriff (@SheriffAlert) January 27, 2020
Most Likely to be a Virgin: This girl who only thinks about food
Most Likely To Send Their Food Back if the Fries Are a Little Cold: This cop at McDonald’s
Karen is a cop. She didn’t get her Egg McMuffin fast enough. Karen is crying, people don’t thank her enough anymore. pic.twitter.com/2PYkr8RfX3
— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) June 17, 2020
Most Likely to Lie About Reading in Book Club: Alexandra Lee Capps
I’m sure there are thousands of other videos, tweets, TikToks, etc. that went super-viral this year that I missed, so I apologize if I omitted anything you think should’ve made the cut. After all, I’m just a regular person as opposed to the algorithms that study your behavior on social media so they can feed you exactly what you want and keep you coming back. I went with my gut and I think it’s a pretty good award show.
2020 was a horrible, awful, shitty year for all of us and social media kept us sort of sane. Whether you posted yourself or were just there as a viewer, social media probably helped. Sure, documentaries like The Social Dilemma tried to scare us straight but it wasn’t enough to get most of us to Log Off, and as long as people keep pumping out Content like this, that’s probably not going to change.