Since the first telephone call was made in 1876, the universal signal for "call me" has been miming a phone to your ear using your thumb and pinky finger. In 2015, that changed, thanks to the living meme known popularly as Drake.
Drake was spotted doing the "Hotline Bling Dance" while jamming out to his hit at the Houston Rockets-Los Angeles Clippers game in LA on Saturday night, because of course he was.
As one of the defining music artists for millennials, he's trying to shift pop culture as he sees fit. It starts with creating the most meme-able music video ever, and eventually ends with a physical, tangible result. With "Hotline Bling" and its cultural fallout, part of this process is getting everyone on board with whatever the hell that hand sign he's doing actually means.
Moving forward, let's all be clear about this: The Hotline Bling Dance has replaced the "Call me" sign, and frankly, it's a better use of the similar gesture that's also been known as "Surf's up." Sorry, "Call me" and "Surf's up," but Hotline Bling Dance is far more timely. The meme, like the song's chorus alludes to, is an ode to old flings and how we used to communicate with those we love, but it's also a telling tale of modern communication.
"You used to call me on your cell phone," Drake coos in the pre-chorus of "Hotline Bling." Exactly. USED TO. Yes, Drake is talking about an ex, but more profoundly, he's perhaps declaring the death of phone calls. Think about all the people you communicate with on a daily basis using your smartphone's messaging and social media apps, and how seldom you use the phone part of your device. Responding to missed phone calls with a text or DM is nouveau, and while it might feel lazy and rude, it's what we do. We're all too busy and hot and bothered to talk.
Drake knows that answering the phone is difficult. But the thought of having to answer TWO phones at once is overwhelming, as Drake demonstrated during his "Hotline Bling" music video.
All of this only means one thing: The Hotline Bling Dance is here to stay: online, in the streets and, most important, courtside at NBA games where everyone can see you shine.
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