The purpose of the study is to characterise shipping as a new communicative reality in youth virtual culture based on the analysis of linguistic facts – neologisms. Lexical innovations are considered as evidence of the emergence and spread of new communicative realities. The text analyses the conceptual content of borrowed words which function in the Russian language while forming one thematic group: the verb shipperit (‘to ship’), as well as the lexemes associated with it (derivatives, analogues). The group of borrowed words, which was absent in the Russian 20 years ago, signifies the fact that the Internet users create a phantom reality in accordance with their own experiences. Namely, they fantasise about the romantic relationships of famous bloggers, public figures or characters in comics, films, and books. It is emphasised that the analysed words belong to the vocabulary of the new ‘digital’ communication and characterise the behaviour of Generation Z (Zoomers). The relationship between mental action (‘fantasise’) and speech act (‘write about my fantasy on social media’) seems to be inseparable. The actions of adolescents become a link in the chain of online communication, as bloggers embody these ideas and maintain the game to retain and expand their audience. Users with the same fantasies find each other and unite in groups (fandoms). Quasi-reality creates new communication links.
fantasy in communication, mental construction of reality, pairing, psychological phantom, relationship, romantic relationships of media characters, virtual communication