If I had to pick one phrase to define our culture, I’d choose: “I’m screaming, crying, throwing up.” Over the past few years, this meme has been applied as a reaction to romance novels, blockbusters, pop music, monologues from TV characters – even to people saying goodbye to friends they made only a few weeks before on a reality show. And while the phrase is hyperbolically used to convey both positive and negative emotion, one thing is certain if you see this phrase in action: the sentiment will be wildly disproportionate to whatever it is commenting on.
The internet has always traded on hyperbole, but that hype is growing exponentially louder, always needing to one-up the last round of over-excitement. The latest example of this is the response to Barbie: a film built to promote a doll with some nice sets and a handful of good jokes, underpinned by feminist platitudes. Not only has it become the biggest box-office success of the past decade, the reaction online has reached a screeching fever pitch, with thousands (if not millions) of people suggesting it's one of the best films that has ever – ever – been made.