What Your State Doesn’t Get About Internet Trends

Are you hip on today’s lingo? Between finstas, memes, VSCO girls, and selfies, It’s hard to keep up with millennial speak. If you don’t feel 100% in the know, don’t be too hard on yourself—get caught up instead.

Let’s face it: we’ve all had to Google a word or phrase we didn’t know. Didn’t quite catch your coworker’s joke? Not sure what a vlog is? Been there.  

The data analysis team at Viasat Savings wanted to see which states are googling what. Which ZIP code knows how to pronounce the word GIF? (It’s a hard G, people.) What about the difference between a VSCO girl and an influencer?

We put our heads down and found the most-searched pop culture phrases in each state. Nevada appears a little lost on the definition of a finsta, meanwhile Maryland and Ohio need a crash course on the definition of a selfie.

Trending internet phrases defined

Does ghosting refer to actual ghosts? Is Marco Polo a game you play in the pool?

If you’re trying to figure out the meaning of each internet trend, you’ve come to the right place. We spelled out the definition of every phrase—so we can all be in the loop.

Bitcoin: Virtual currency or cryptocurrency intended for peer-to-peer online interactions. In a nutshell, it’s a way to exchange money online. One important factoid: people that invested in Bitcoin in its early stages are now making bank (a lot of money).

Catfishing: The art of duping someone online by looking significantly different or less attractive in-person. Intentional catfishers will exaggerate or lie about their physical features and post fake or overly-edited photos.

eBoy: Someone who frequents the internet often, and who is stereotyped as an online gamer and anime fan. The feminine version of an eBoy is an eGirl.

Fake news: Falsified information used to promote an idea or slander an industry, company, or person. Fake news also encompasses outdated information.

Finsta: A secondary Instagram account shared with only a small handful of people, or a fake Instagram account (the “f” standing for fake). People will use finstas to rant about their day, share personal things, or post embarrassing photos of themselves. Most of the time, they’re hilariously entertaining.

Ghosting: The act of abruptly cutting off ties with someone you’re dating or talking to without providing any explanation. The term was coined after ghosts since ghosts are known for  disappearing without any warning.

GIF: An animated or static image typically paired with related words or phrases that play off the image or video. Similar to emojis, people use GIFs to convey emotions or feelings without actually spelling out words.

Hinge: A dating app that veers away from the traditional quantity over quality approach. Instead of committing to a full swipe right (in traditional dating apps, users swipe their fingers across their phone to the right indicating if they’re interested in dating someone), users can simply “like” someone’s picture or bio. Hinge is more specific than most dating apps, and it’s meant to help you zero in on people that share similar interests.

Influencer: Referring to Instagram, an app where users can upload and share photos, an Instagram influencer is someone who has lots of followers (typically at least 10,000). Instagram influencers get paid to promote products, talk about their lives, and post regularly.

Marco polo: A smartphone app where people can send video messages back and forth. Unlike FaceTime, it doesn’t facilitate video chat in real-time, and unlike Snapchat, the videos never disappear unless you actively delete them.

Meme: A digital photograph embellished with commentary meant to emphasize an idea or play on a cultural symbol or current trends.

Selfie: A solo picture someone took of themselves usually via the front-facing camera on a phone. Selfies can also include multiple people and be taken in a mirror.

TikTok: Originally designed for users that wanted to record themselves lip-syncing, TikTok is a smartphone app that lets you upload 15-second videos. (It’s also the name of Ke$ha’s 2009 breakout single, but that’s by the by.)

Vlog: To vlog is to record a video of yourself doing something—usually via selfie mode. Vloggers will walk people through tutorials, vacations, or even their daily lives. Like influencers, vloggers can make good money.

VSCO girl: A girl who posts model-inspired, amateur pictures of herself on VSCO, a free photography site. Calling someone a VSCO girl is similar to calling someone a diva; it has a negative connotation and implies that they take themselves a little too seriously.

Interesting Findings

  • The very first YouTube video is titled “Me at the zoo.” In 18 seconds, a young man tells an interesting fact about a group of elephants standing behind him. Well done, @jawed. Way to forge the way for us all.  
  • More and more companies are getting flak for sticking to a certain type of model as their Instagram influencers. Now, companies are seeking more diverse influencers in an effort to veer away from the longstanding stereotype. 
  • Made for millennials seeking long-lasting love, Hinge has made headlines with its ultra-specific filtering capabilities. If you’re not into smoking or drinking, for example, you can swipe through people that abstain from either.
  • Don’t confuse vloggers with YouTubers. Vloggers share their content on their vlogs, and YouTubers post their videos on—you guessed it—YouTube. Although their platforms are different, their pay is pretty neck-and-neck. Both can make over $100,000 per year. Sound a little silly? Sure. But they’re laughing their way to the bank.


We used popular internet culture references to fill in the phrase “What is [BLANK].” From there, we plugged each search into Google Trends to see which phrase each state is searching the most. 

The Most-Googled Internet Trend in Each State

AlabamaWhat is catfishing
AlaskaWhat is a meme
ArizonaWhat is an eboy
ArkansasWhat is a gif
CaliforniaWhat is a vlog
ColoradoWhat is hinge
ConnecticutWhat is hinge
DelawareWhat is a meme
District of ColumbiaWhat is fake news
FloridaWhat is a vlog
GeorgiaWhat is marco polo
HawaiiWhat is a gif
IdahoWhat is a gif
IllinoisWhat is an influencer
IndianaWhat is marco polo
IowaWhat is netflix and chill
KansasWhat is a meme
KentuckyWhat is marco polo
LouisianaWhat is hinge
MaineWhat is a meme
MarylandWhat is a selfie
MassachusettsWhat is bitcoin
MichiganWhat is ghosting
MinnesotaWhat is hinge
MississippiWhat is hinge
MissouriWhat is hinge
MontanaWhat is bitcoin
NebraskaWhat is ghosting
NevadaWhat is a finsta
New HampshireWhat is a meme
New JerseyWhat is an eboy
New MexicoWhat is ghosting
New YorkWhat is an influencer
North CarolinaWhat is hinge
North DakotaWhat is tik tok
OhioWhat is a selfie
OklahomaWhat is a VSCO girl
OregonWhat is catfishing
PennsylvaniaWhat is an influencer
Rhode IslandWhat is a gif
South CarolinaWhat is catfishing
South DakotaWhat is a meme
TennesseeWhat is a VSCO girl
TexasWhat is an influencer
UtahWhat is catfishing
VermontWhat is a meme
VirginiaWhat is a gif
WashingtonWhat is bitcoin
West VirginiaWhat is a VSCO girl
WisconsinWhat is ghosting
WyomingWhat is a VSCO girl

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