In the era of fake news, Millennials seek truth in online astrology

How star signs are making a comeback on the web
Mercury retrograde is a visual illusion in astronomical terms and an astrological phenomenon. (www.ismercuryinretrograde.com)
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In a digital world of big data, real time updates, and a need for transparency among all the fake news, millennials are finding meaning in astrology and other forms of unreality.

The trend is booming and it has a lot to do with internet culture and technology.

In a report called "Unreality," Lucie Greene and her team analysed the mainstream emergence of an appreciation for magic and spirituality by millennials and teens.

Greene is the Director of The Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, a New York City think tank.

"We saw an emerging counterpoint to all the transparency, and hyper-digital and quantified nature of the web," Greene said. 

We saw among millennials and teenagers this interest in the intangible, the spiritual, the fantasy, and new age practices, and also sort of magic and mystical language, ranging from playful to the well-being end of the spectrum.- Lucie  Greene

And it's spawned a commercial market on platforms like Instagram and online magazines, she said.

Offline, the influence can be seen as mainstream brands pivot off the trend by selling products that contain crystal particles, Greene said.
J. Walter Thompson as the Worldwide publishes original insights and in-depth research on cultural change, sector innovation, and consumers.

There are countless sites dedicated to astrology, and it is very common to see people talking about astrology on Twitter.

On social media, people air out the dirty laundry of the 13 one-size-fits-all zodiac signs. Astrology accounts amass hundreds of thousands of followers.

For many familiar with "Mercury retrograde," it is socially recognised as a dreadful time. According to astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules communication.

In astronomical terms, Mercury retrograde is a visual illusion. When Mercury is in retrograde motion, it appears from Earth that the planet is moving backwards in its orbit.

For the astrologically enthused, it means we're entering a prolonged funk.

Miscommunications and interpersonal trouble can be expected, said Kate Trgovac.
Kate Trgovac, is the creator and owner of www.ismercuryinretrograde.com (Kate Trgovac)

Trgovac is based in Vancouver and the owner and creator of www.IsMercuryInRetrograde.com  

Trgovac updates her site manually before and after each episode of Mercury retrograde, which happens three to four times a year.

Most visitors who stop by her site are in the in the U.S., followed by Canada and Australia, she said.    

"Usually a few days before, people start talking about it online and we'll get a big surge of visitors, ten thousand or so each day," said Trgovac.

Whenever Mercury retrograde is happening, her site reads: "Yes. That might explain the weirdness."

And if it isn't, it reads: "No. Something else must be bumming you out."

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