If there’s one thing we can be sure of even when everything else goes topsy-turvy, it’s that the internet will never fail to deliver. Whether it is breaking news or updates on the latest happenings around the world or (our personal favourite), the priceless memes and GIFs, unfailingly, the virtual world has served us moments after moments of content that is pure gold. And, 2019 was no different.
This year, the online space – more precisely Twitter – became a melting point of debates, discussions, and everything in between, as netizens took to the platform to share their views and thoughts on a range of subjects.
Both globally and in India, the micro-blogging platform was used extensively by members of the public, media, and even the government to stir rousing debates on pertinent issues.
The result? A treasure of moments, ranging from #Chandrayaan2 (which marked a giant leap for ISRO’s technological prowess) to tweets celebrating the results of #LokSabhaElections2019, which together had the entire country twiddling their thumbs.
Here’s a look at the best Twitter moments from 2019:
Lok Sabha Elections 2019
It’s not much of a surprise that the results of the 2019 Indian General Election, held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, 2019, were a widely discussed topic on Twitter. It was, after all, a crucial poll that not only determined the fate of the government in the world’s largest democracy but, also marked the second term for the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
To celebrate the occasion, PM Modi took to the social media by sharing a message of an “inclusive India” after his party’s historic win – a tweet which has since been acknowledged as the ‘Golden Tweet in India’ by Twitter India, as it garnered hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets.
Mission Chandrayaan 2
In what marked a momentous event for India’s endeavours in the outer space, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) kicked off the second lunar exploration mission, dubbed Chandrayaan 2.
While the mission didn’t pan out as expected – with ISRO losing contact with the Chandrayaan 2's lander, Vikram, shortly before the scheduled touchdown – it undoubtedly garnered major social media attention, as millions of people tuned in to watch the historical feat unfold.
NASA even sent out a tweet, commending the brave attempt made by ISRO and expressing a desire to “explore our solar system together”.
The greatest of Marvel heroes united one last time, earlier this year, to take on the mighty Thanos and bring order and structure back into the cinematic universe of the comics. What did, us fans, do in return?
We showered the ensemble superhero blockbuster – which went on to shatter all previous movie records, raking in a whopping $2.97 billion at the box-office worldwide – with undivided love and a lot of social media chatter.
Viral JCB memes
Why on earth has JCB suddenly become a viral meme on the internet?
This is the question most people, and even the British manufacturing company, woke up to after pictures of a JCB excavator went viral on Indian Twitter.
As happens with any viral moment, the yellow machine became an overnight sensation, with #JCBKiKhudai officially surpassing all other trending topics on the micro-blogging site.
Humbled by all this unforeseen love, the company did what any viral star would – share gratitude to its customers and especially to Indian Twitterati.
The Paragliding Guy
Let’s admit it. All of us, at some point or other, have thought of trying something adventurous only to regret it later. Well, Vipin Shah, the man from Banda, Uttar Pradesh, who decided to try his hands at paragliding while capturing the entire adrenaline-fueled experience on camera, is one such victim of hasty decision.
What was meant to be a ‘ride of a lifetime’, turned into a rollercoaster of emotions, as Vipin went from excitement to fearing heights, to hitting the panic button. Needless to say, the clip capturing the action went viral online, leaving viewers in splits.
Amazon rainforest wildfires
An alarming barrage of images of the Amazon rainforests reeling from the incessant wildfires flooded the social media in August this year.
As cities in Brazil and other neighbouring areas remained smothered under the black clouds of smoke for weeks, all eyes were naturally on the leaders of the nations.
A resounding question that was raised by those affected was around the topic of environmental protection and relating laws.
Greta Thunberg – Person of the Year!
Amid rising fears of widespread wildfires and a serious concern posed by the ongoing climate crisis, a Swedish teenager caught global eyeballs this year, reminding the world why it’s of utmost importance to act on these challenges now.
This teen is none other 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist whose relentless campaigns and driving home the climate change concern made her an international figure.
No wonder, that her frequent posts on the sad state of the planet and her occasional banter with President Trump have also catapulted her to social media prominence.
The FaceApp hype
Sometime mid-2019, all our feeds were suddenly filled with hyper-realistic images of people seeming much (much, much) older than they were. The tool that enabled this was a particular filter introduced by the Russia-based, FaceApp.
And not just the older version, the app could also map your facial features to produce a super young version – stuff that soon caught on like wildfire, with hundreds of thousands of people uploading and sharing their altered images.
No sooner had the app caught public attention, there were also some concerning reports about the FaceApp storing and harvesting metadata from the photos.
Game of Thrones coffee cup blooper
As if Season 8 wasn’t flawed enough, with a hurried execution of the storyline, poor character development, and an extremely unsatisfying ending, HBO’s wildly popular series Game of Throne committed a huge blunder in the form of a stray coffee cup.
In one of the scenes from episode four, where Queen Daenerys Targaryen takes seat along with her nobles, eagle-eyed viewers spotted an out-of-place coffee cup on the table.
It was initially suspected to be a Starbucks cup, only to be later clarified to be a cup from the local coffee shop in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Local or not – the stray cup stirred quite a furore on Twitter.
Elon Musk and his Cybertruck
Can a list of viral moments be complete without the mention of tech wizard Elon Musk? Taking the cake for this year’s lot of memes and hilarious social media posts is the Tesla CEO’s latest innovation, the Cybertruck.
Designed for massive powerhouse performance, the Cybertruck can go from 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds on the high-end. In one of the tests, the Cybertruck defeated the latest edition of Porsche in a race. All seemed to be well, except that the heavy-weight vehicle also packed in an unusual design, inspiring several creative memes on Twitter.
(Edited by Suman Singh)