Technology

Behold, the Eclipsternet!

The tweets, instagrams, and Bonnie Tyler singalongs that turned the total eclipse into a transcendant indoor experience.

You need your phone for the full experience. Above, Suzanne Rapley takes a photo at sunset with her iPhone on Friday in Madras, Oregon.

Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images

Nature qua nature is great and all, but let’s not kid ourselves: Whether you journeyed to the path of totality or not, the total eclipse of 2017 was built to be enjoyed with a second screen. One astronomer declared in advance that the first-in-a-century occurrence would be the “most photographed, most shared, most tweeted event in human history,” and the people and brands of the internet did not disappoint. Though it was as short-lived as the astronomical phenomenon itself, the eclipsternet was no less dazzling or dramatic—a rare mass-cultural celebration in which the internet’s absurdist, ironic, meme-spewing lingua franca was put to an entirely earnest use and was all the more edifying for it. When was the last time an entire day on the web felt pleasant? Here’s who won it for us.

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Winner: Circular-shaped foodstuffs

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and the official snack cake of the eclipse is blotting out the sun. Though Hostess’ ask-for-forgiveness-not-permission tactic of claiming a nonexistent title led to a feud with MoonPie, the company was far from the only dessert brand to seize upon its rare similarity to the moon (both round, baby!) with a weird and obviously preplanned Photoshop job. Sometimes the social media strategy of asking “How can we make this event about us?” goes very, very wrong, but in this case, it was an innocent—even charming—effort. Pass the Golden CupCakes and the MoonPies.

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Winner: The West Coast

We’ll give you this one. Enjoy continuing to experience Game of Thrones and The Bachelor on a time delay.

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Winner: Colanders, cereal boxes, and other large weird objects and vessels for eclipse-viewing

Finally, a chance for these awkward, cumbersome, and little-loved objects to shine on social media! Slay, Frosted Flakes box! Cast those shadows, colanders. Werk those angles, random recycled cardboard box. This is your moment.

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Winner: Moon emojis

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Have you ever, until today, used every moon emoji at the same time? In all the time you’ve spent yearning for emojis that aren’t part of the collection but that would significantly improve your communication, were you ever like, “yup, I really need every single phase of moon emoji, each one is vital and has many uses”? No, you were not. But today it was cool, and now all is forgiven.

Winner: Bonnie Tyler and Bonnie Tyler fans

Last week, it was reported that during the eclipse, Bonnie Tyler planned to sing her hit song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while aboard a Total Eclipse Cruise sailing through the path of totality in the Caribbean. Destiny would have it no other way. But the eclipse chasers who didn’t have the foresight to book the cruise wanted a piece of Bonnie too, so in honor of the eclipse today her song shot to No. 1 on the iTunes chart, with views spiking on YouTube as well. It was a win for Tyler, and it also led to a surge of activity among Tyler’s, if not long-suffering, then at least usually quiet, fans. The bonnietylerfans Instagram account posted an image from the 1983 single, and another fan commented, “She’s trending on Twitter. Never thought I’d ever say that.” Today, we were all living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.

Loser: People who stared directly at the sun

There’s only one on record so far.

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