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2021 Terminology – and NEW Interpretations!

Who knew that the names Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting would become part of our vocabulary – and our lives.  (Does anyone use Skype anymore?)  

Each year (or two), I update a list of terms that are somewhat trendy – and definitely words to know.  This past year (2020!!!) brought us new terms and (technology) trends.  These terms will be with us for a long time.  While they will evolve as we settle into 2021 and move to a new normal, we do need to be aware of the words and meanings.  For 2021, here are both new and old but evolved terms to track (and possibly use):

  • Revenge Spending – this is from a January 4, 2021 McKinsey & Company article on trends (The Next Normal Arrives:  Trends That Will Define 2021 – and Beyond).  This means spending that will happen when pent-up demand is ‘unleashed’ (especially for restaurants and entertainment venues). 
  • Phubbing – this was on the list in the past and means phone snubbing, pretending to be listening while scrolling through newsfeeds or Facebook posts.   The meaning has expanded – it is something we do while on Zoom (or other video) meetings.  In some cases, it is overt . . . . we simply turn off our video allowing us to do what we want during a meeting we should be attending. 
  • Zirt (or Zhirt) – the top of an outfit worn on Zoom.  (NOTE – apparel companies have had a run on shirts and blouses; they have not had equivalent sales on pants.)
  • H2H – instead of B2C or B2B, brands are talking H2H – human to human.  The focus is on creating a feeling of trust and safety from the person ‘selling’; more focus on story-telling.  During the pandemic, companies are trying to redefine this concept and capitalize on human interactions when possible. 
  • BYOD – literally Bring Your Own Device (or BYOT – for Technology).  Now that we are mostly home-based employees, home technology comes into play even more . . . . . especially in terms of security and ‘responsibility’ (who fixes the broken [home] printer now). 
  • Curated Commerce – based on the demand for personalization in everything we do.  One of the trends that is developing is the move away from brand loyalty.  We shop online and find new brands that can meet our specific needs (all shipped through Amazon, FedEx or UPS it seems). 

Let me end with a ‘statement’:  

You don’t ‘work from home’; you ‘live at work’!

While not a ‘term’, this sums it up for 2020 and the first part of 2021.  We used to want to work from home – it was almost a reward from some employers.  Now our commute is to our home office (what used to be the den, kitchen table or basement).  Our household may have multiple offices and classrooms – all going on at the same time.  It is a statement of fact – we have gone from the concept of work/life balance to work/life integration. 

NOTE – this statement and the terms above will continue to evolve.  Watch for future Blog entries!