首页  | 专栏作家

Vibe change? 重大改变

中国日报网 2022-04-15 11:11


Reader question:

Please explain this sentence, particularly “vibe change”: I am noticing a vibe change around here. I’m not sure what it is. Probably the new team, but I like it.

My comments:

A vibe change is a big change, a change in the whole atmosphere.

In olden times, people would’ve described vibe change as a sea change or a seismic change.

In other words, a significant and systemic transformation.

In our example, perhaps somebody new has just arrived, be it one or two new players or a new coach. And the speaker is able to feel the difference in the room, in how excited everybody is, and how they all want to give their best again. The speaker isn’t sure what exactly it is, but he or she likes it.

Something like that.

Vibe is short for vibration. Vibe change, literally, refers to the change in vibration. If you fine tune a piano or musical instrument, you are able to feel the change in vibration every time you tweak a key or a string.

Culturally and socially, vibe change or vibe shift (which is the more popular variant) refers to a change in fashion or other trends.

Change, as in change of the guard. It means the old is giving way to the new. Something new is taking place of something old.

Vibe change or vibe shit is a relatively new expression and is best understood via reading media examples.

So here’s a few:

1. If you listen closely, you’ll hear it. The wind is whispering, vibe shift.

Predicted all the way back in June 2021 by trendcaster Sean Monahan, the aforementioned vibe shift – known as that period in time when one trend dies and another emerges – has been teasing us for months with the TikTok revivals of twee culture and indie sleaze. And just this week, The Cut’s Allison P. Davis publicly proclaimed: “A Vibe Shift Is Coming.” Vibe almanacs have also predicted such a shift, citing years of pandemic ennui, the popularity of early 2000s nostalgia, and the vibe-ological cycle that is closely aligned with the planets.

The vibe shift is imminent. But the real question is who survives.

In her piece, Davis asks about her own survival: “I have a choice to make: Do I try to opt in to whatever trend comes next, or do I choose to accept that my last two good years were spent on my couch gobbling antidepressants and wearing 'cute house pants' and UGGs?” It’s a choice that many of us are forced to consider right now, so now more than ever, vibe shift preparation is critical.

From interviews with vibe survivalists and historians (no, not really), we’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know to survive the shift.

Don’t panic

The key to navigating any kind of vibe friction is to stay calm. Remember that humans have survived vibe shifts for thousands of years. From the very first vibe, when humans learned how to make fire, to living through the more recent Hypebeast era, humans have been driven to survive vibes by our innate desire to stay relevant. They got through this, and so can you.

- How to survive the ‘vibe shift’, Mshable.com, February 19, 2022.

2. Good news, short kings, because there’s a vibe change in the air that could change everything about dating.

Yes, as coined by Laura Pitcher in her I-D article, it’s time for Short-King Spring.

TikTok videos have been circulating online, with users sharing that their boyfriends’ short height, and it seems to be a new trend.

It has the potential to reverse the long-standing stigma on dating apps, where some people are ruled out as potential romantic partners if they’re not tall enough.

Many people have joined in on the widespread TikTok trend of romanticizing small stature, and filming their boyfriends' reactions upon calling them a “short king.”

In her article Pitcher wrote, “With height discrimination spread throughout society into even the workplace – a survey of the heights of Fortune 500 CEO’s revealed that they were on average 6’ tall, which is approximately 2.5 inches taller than the average American man – it’s clear posting about ‘short king spring’ won’t magically reverse centuries of height discrimination and social conditioning. It does, however, open up the conversation for couples who don’t fit the previous mould.”

She adds, “If the celebration of height and body diversity is also taken offline, it could inspire new potential romantic partners to examine their own internal biases.”

- Indy100.com, March 25, 2022.

3. Have you heard? Apparently, there’s a vibe shift a-coming.

Thanks to a viral article in The Cut, the idea of a looming, seismic cultural and fashion change on the horizon has stressed many a digital native all over the globe.

Suddenly, our perceived ability – or lack thereof – to make it through this shift became a very hot topic. Will you get left behind or are you still young and flexible enough to go with the flow?

While the idea of suddenly looking around you and realizing you’re past it is not a nice thought, it’s little wonder that people are talking about the possibility of a new big ‘thing’ given the pandemic we’ve been living through for the past two years.

Now, as the Government has us ‘Living with Covid’, it feels as if we’ve all just started at a new school – everyone’s been given the chance to reinvent themselves should they choose.

Even if you haven’t made the conscious choice to change, it can happen easily enough in a normal two years, much less when the whole world has (granted, with varying degrees of privilege) experienced the same calamity at the same time.

Despite the fact that we’ve been burned by multiple lockdowns, tier changes (remember those?) and scary new variants before, it does feel like something is on the horizon.

Alex Quicho, head of cultural intelligence at consumer insights agency Canvas8, tells Metro.co.uk it’s partly down to the pandemic but also the fact that the last of the millennials, aka Gen Yers, have now hit undeniable adulthood.

She explains: ‘The “vibe shift” — as we’re seeing it crop up colloquially, in response to the article – simply describes the trend cycle. Yet there is a deep undercurrent of anxiety around this particular vibe shift, due to its coinciding with an exit from pandemic restrictions, and the transition of Gen Y into adulthood.

‘Gen Yers have always struggled with “adulting” – even coining the term itself, which conveys a bit of cluelessness when it comes to doing tasks perceived as quotidian by older generations. This is driven by well-documented barriers to “real adulthood” – multiple recessions, property inflation, unstable job markets – as well as the dissolution of traditional life markers.

‘Yet Gen Y has firmly entered adulthood, with all its demands and responsibilities. There seems to be a fundamental tension between the millennial attitude (eternal adolescence, comfort-centric environments and consumption, irreverent communication) and its material reality (parenting, professionalisation, property).’

- How to make it through the vibe shift, Metro.co.uk, March 27, 2002.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣   编辑:丹妮)


Well-worn saying? 老生常谈


So… cock-sure? 确信


Wider society? 全社会


Just saying? 说说而已


Deal breaker? 不能通融的条件


Pick them apart? 拆分

中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序