Why are all the kids going Sheesh?!


If you’ve been anywhere nearby a young person in the last month, you’ve probably heard them go, “Sheeeeeeeee(sh)!” faintly and perhaps just enough you heard it but maybe didn’t notice. Sheesh is the new dab. And you can’t unhear it.

Sheesh, or Sheeesh, is a popular slang term and an alternative to “jeez” or “damn,” used to express surprise or disbelief about something, often in a positive manner, and to hype up or compliment another person. The term has existed since the 1950s and saw a significant increase in use throughout the 2010s, popularized to a degree by NBA player LeBron James and drip culture, inspiring a popular sound on TikTok in early 2021. The expression is often combined with the Ice In My Veins pose. Know Your Meme

The current use of Sheesh is linked to this TikTok of a frog sitting on a table in January, and it’s been co-opted and remixed for the last 6 months as a reaction to someone’s unexpected and amazing accomplishment. Or maybe just a thing to say to be annoying, too. The hashtag #sheesh is now at 4.5B views.

When my kids started doing it earlier this year, I ignored it. Their friends were yelling “Sheesh” on X-Box Live and FaceTime calls, and I ignored it. They would Sheesh me sarcastically, and I paid enough attention to know they were making fun of me (“Hey kids, I painted the front door.” “Sheeesh!”). But then I started hearing strangers doing it in public (e.g., Target, Scheel’s, Mall of America), and I realized the meme had crossed over into IRL and was mainstream enough I could troll my kids back with it.

When I say kids are yelling Sheesh, that’s not really an adequately descriptive verb. It’s more of a crescendo where the “Sheee” comes out in falsetto and then trails off to the point you barely or don’t hear the “ssshhh” part at all. It’s not really yelling but it’s not really speaking at a normal volume either. This is why the meme is such an earworm. It’s subtle, so it sticks. Sheesh.

In social media, saying Sheesh is also accompanied by a gesture called “ice in my veins,” which I originally thought alluded to self-harm, but apparently, it’s a basketball-inspired pose about succeeding under pressure. Feel old yet?

It’s not immediately clear to me if this meme has co-opted Black culture, as so many others have before, but it’s clearly a six-month-old meme that is making its way into the broader culture enough it’s spreading to “the olds.” Much like the dab, Sheesh is a social-fueled trend that will peak, parents like me will do it to troll their kids, and then die a violent and embarrassing death. SHEESH!

Here are the social signals I’m tracking this week…

The Return of FOMO: We all predicted this feeling would return – the fear of missing out caused by your social network posting cool stuff they’re doing that you’re not. And thanks to vaccinations and things opening back up, it’s coming more quickly than many of us anticipated.

The Cut writes: “Remember plans? All across town, plans are once again abloom, plans polliniferous, begetting others, which beget others. The city is Rip Van Winkling into wobbly wakefulness… Ours will be a rickety reentry. Like Rip, we are unpracticed, we creak… But more than that, we are anxious — about being back and not being back.”

Back at work, folks are posting their “Return to Office Selfies” and stirring up all kinds of feelings there, tooTake it easy on the IRL reentry posts, folks! It’s a weird time.

Get off my lawn, Math!

Instagram’s Algorithm Explained: This week Instagram’s Adam Mosseri published a blog post hoping to shed light on some misconceptions about the algorithm. Instagram doesn’t have one algorithm that oversees what people do and don’t see on the app. Each part of the app – Feed, Explore, Reels – uses its own algorithm tailored to how people use it. Mosseri went into detail about how signals, the data that informs the algorithm for Feed, Stories, Reels, Explore, and how you can influence what you see: 1) Pick your close friends, 2) Mute people you’re not interested in; 3) Mark recommended posts as “Not Interested.” Read more detail about these and an explanation of shadowbanning here.

Bo Burnham’s Inside, as a photo I took of my iPad to get a screenshot

Bo Burnham’s Netflix Special is Quarantine Art: For those privileged enough to isolate and work from home the last year-plus, there’s a new comedy special on Netflix that is mandatory viewing to relive, process, hate, and maybe even celebrate the shared experience of a lonely lockdown. Burnham’s special was conceived, filmed, and produced entirely in one room by Bo Burnham during the lockdown. NPR called it “isolation theater,” and the double album soundtrack dropped this week.

Happy Birthday, Twitch! The live streaming platform turned 10 years old this week and as we look back at the rapid adoption of gaming culture into the broader mainstream of the last decade, it’s widely credited with helping establish and popularize the patronage system that is powering the Creator Economy of today. Twitch viewers watched 6.34 billion hours of content in Q1. To celebrate its anniversary, Twitch introduced Animated Emotes, Follower Emotes, and a Library for Emotes

Would you “Like” a Facebook watch? Facebook is rumored to be rolling out a smartwatch next year that will feature not one, but two cameras! Including one you can use to film yourself. And fitness tracking. And won’t require a phone for data. It would be the company’s first foray into wrist-based hardware. I’m going to need another whole arm for all this new tech.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/G5VV6Vb_KRQ?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0

So Much Apple News: Apple’s annual WWDC event always has a wealth of software updates to share, but this year was particularly robust. Apple announced iOS 15, which will bring improvements to FaceTime such as spatial audio, a new “SharePlay” feature that lets you co-watch content, updates to Messages, a new look for notifications, the ability to set different “Focus” statuses, updates to Memories in Photos, and a redesign to the weather app. Apple’s new Live Text will digitize text in your photos, which can let you copy and paste text from a photo (e.g., call a phone number that’s in a photo) Apple Mail will block tracking pixels with Mail Privacy Protection and that Safari will hide IPs. Apple Health will be able to share health data with your families and with healthcare providers. Siri is coming to third-party IoT devices. You may soon be able to use your iPhone as your ID at the airport and for hotel keys. And much more. Watch the full event stream here and a 9-minute version here.

Reads of the Week: 1) Brazil’s hottest TikTok celebrities are … English teachers?; 2) How Viral Recipes Shut Out BIPOC Food Creators; 3) Peanut the Waiter Robot Is Proof That Your Job Is Safe.

Quick Hits:

  • Netflix’s Sweet Tooth made social waves with their USA Today takeover ad declaring “Hybrid Babies Born across the U.S.
  • Facebook released a thorough report on the future of mixed reality: AR/VR: New dimensions of connection.
  • TikTok launched a For Your Consideration campaign for the Emmy’s for Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.
  • Twitter’s Super Follows application details are leaking.
  • Facebook says Former President Trump’s ban will last at least two years.  
  • Facebook and Kantar published a 4-part thought-leadership series focuses on exploring what’s next in shopper journey disruption based on Hong Kong and Taiwan audiences but that is relevant for all (Part 1234).
  • Apple’s Augmented Reality headset is rumored to launch in the second quarter of 2022. This is expected to be a development tool and stepping stone toward Apple Glasses.
  • App of the Week: Everyone on social is turning themselves into a cartoon with the Voilà AI Artist App.
  • Reddit of the Week: 1 good minute.
  • Web Tool of the Week: Find words and lines from popular movie clips with PlayPhrase.me.
  • Pride Month Easter Egg of the Week: Open a new Google Sheet, type out “P-R-I-D-E” in the first five columns, hit “Enter,” and your entire spreadsheet will turn into a rainbow.
  • Meme of the Week: The creative culture on TikTok is making “bumps” for Adult Swim. Here’s an explainer, and a few of my favorite examples.
  • Meme Accounts of the Week: For those fans of Daniel Craig celebrating the arrival of the weekend every Friday evening (@CraigWeekend), there’s now one for the Sunday night scaries (@CraigWeekBoo) and even a meme for the weekday itself. 2021 is weird, y’all.

See you on the internet!

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(Typos are intentional to ensure ur paying attention.)