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The experience of being online in 2021, or even Extremely Online, often makes us stop and ask, “Wait, people are doing what now?”

Every day, new micro-trends emerge, only to become old news in the next five minutes. Remember sea shanties on TikTok? The viral moment may as well have happened 10 billion years ago.

It’s impossible to keep up with it all, but it’s a thrill to try. In this collection of stories, Polygon investigates the trends that are on the brink of blowing up in the worlds and fandoms we follow. We’ve also tapped some embedded experts and plugged-in denizens to write about what they’ve noticed in their respective corners of the internet.

Read fast. These trends will self-destruct in 10... 9...