Extremely online (often capitalized), also known as terminally online or chronically online, is a phrase referring to someone closely engaged with
Internet culture. People said to be extremely online often believe that online posts are very important. Events and phenomena can themselves be extremely online; while often used as a descriptive term, the phenomenon of extreme online usage has been described as "both a reformation of the delivery of ideas – shared through words and videos and
copypasta – and the ideas themselves". Here "online" is used to describe "a way of doing things, not [simply] the place they are done".
While the term was in use as early as 2014, it gained use over the latter half of the 2010s in conjunction with the increasing prevalence and notability of Internet phenomena in all areas of life. Extremely online people, according to The Daily Dot, are interested in topics "no normal, healthy person could possibly care about", and have been analogized to "pop culture fandoms, just without the pop". Extremely online phenomena such as fan culture and reaction GIFs have been described as "swallowing democracy" by journalists such as
Amanda Hess in The New York Times; who claimed that a "great convergence between politics and culture, values and aesthetics, citizenship and commercialism" had become "a dominant mode of experiencing politics".Vulture – formerly the
pop culture section of New York magazine, now a stand-alone website – has a section for articles tagged "extremely online".
In the 2010s, many categories and labels came into wide use from media outlets to describe Internet-mediated cultural trends, such as the
dirtbag left, and
doomerism. These ideological categories are often defined by their close association with online discourse. For example, the term "alt-right" was added to the
Associated Press' stylebook in 2016 to describe the "digital presence" of far-right ideologies, the dirtbag left refers to a group of "underemployed and overly online millennials" who "have no time for the pieties of traditional political discourse", and the
doomer's "blackpilled despair" is combined with spending "too much time on message boards in high school" to produce an
Former United States President
posts on social media have been frequently cited as extremely online, both during both his presidency and his
2020 presidential campaign; Vox claimed his approach to re-election veered into being "Too Online", and Reason questioned whether the final presidential debate was "incomprehensible to
normies". While individual people are often given the description, being extremely online has also been posited as an overall cultural phenomenon, applying to trends like lifestyle movements suffixed with "
-wave" and "
-core" based heavily on Internet media, as well as an increasing expectation for
digital social researchers to have an "online presence" to advance in their careers.
One example of a phenomenon considered to be extremely online is the "
wife guy" (a guy who posts about his wife); despite being a "stupid online thing" which spent several years as a piece of Internet slang, in 2019 it became the subject of five articles in leading U.S. media outlets.
Like many extremely online phrases and phenomena, the "wife guy" has been attributed in part to the in-character Twitter account
@dril. The account frequently parodies how people behave on the Internet, and has been widely cited as influential on online culture. In one tweet, his character refuses to stop using the Internet, even when someone shouts outside his house that he should log off.
Many of dril's other coinages have become ubiquitous parts of
Internet slang. Throughout the 2010s, posters such as dril inspired commonly used terms like "corncobbing" (referring to someone losing an argument and failing to admit it); while originally a piece of obscure Internet slang used on sites like Twitter, use of the term (and controversy over its misinterpretation) became a subject of reporting from traditional publications, with some noting that keeping up with the rapid turnover of inside jokes, memes, and quotes online required daily attention to avoid embarrassment.
Twitch has been described as "talk radio for the extremely online". Another example of an event cited as extremely online is
No Nut November. Increasingly, researchers are expected to have more of an online presence, to advance in their careers, as networking and portfolios continue to transition to the digital world.
In November 2020, an article in The Washington Post criticized the
filter bubble theory of online discourse on the basis that it "overgeneralized" based on a "small subset of extremely online people".
^Koshy, Yohann (June 3, 2019).
"'The Voice of the Dirtbag Left': Socialist US comics Chapo Trap House". The Guardian.
Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2020. the Dirtbag Left, a coterie of underemployed and overly online millennials who were radicalised by the Iraq war and the 2008 financial crisis, have no time for the pieties of traditional political discourse, and place cautious hope in the movement to put the socialist senator Bernie Sanders in the White House.
^Reiss, Jonathan (September 30, 2020).
"In Defending Hunter, Biden Showed Us His Potential". Rolling Stone.
Archived from the original on March 20, 2021. Retrieved March 20, 2020. 'Black Pill' is internet slang that has gained prominence in 2020. It's an alternative to the Matrix's red/blue pill binary, and, as opposed to 'opening your mind,' it refers to something that makes you look to the future with harsh and utter pessimism.
abKelly, Tiffany (August 3, 2017).
"How a Kamala Harris meme turned into a fight over corncobs". The Daily Dot.
Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017. To navigate Twitter in 2017, you need to keep up with many inside jokes, memes, and quotes that change on a daily basis. It's easy to become confused about why something is trending. But doing research before tweeting about it usually pays off. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a roast. ... The lesson here is clear. Always check for @dril references before you send that tweet.
^Nyhan, Brendan (November 6, 2020).
"Five myths about misinformation". The Washington Post.
Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020. The bubble theory overgeneralizes from a small subset of extremely online people who have skewed information diets and consume a tremendous amount of news. One study finds, for example, that approximately 25 percent of all online political news traffic from Republicans comes from the 8 percent of people with the most conservative news diets.