Tag Archives | Trends

Are Social Networking Websites Doomed?

social networkingSocial networking was supposed to gradually take over more and more aspects of our lives, but instead it may peter out into a sea of old people “liking” promotional posts from corporations.

The answer to the question of what will be the next Facebook could be “nothing”, as younger people appear to be abandoning social networking sites for messaging apps like SnapChat, which doesn’t involve profiles, personal data, companies’ “sponsored stories”, or their parents. Via Buzzfeed:

Facebook is the “most important” social media site for about 10% fewer teenagers than it was a year ago, according to a new PiperJaffray survey of over 5,000 teenagers. The teens surveyed are less interested in Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, and Tumblr too.

This suggests something bigger than a shift away from Facebook; it hints at what could be the beginning of an across-the-board teen rejection of traditional social networking as a whole.

This data measures sentiment, not usage stats.

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Is Psychedelic Toad Licking Trending Among German Teens?

So claims an article in the country’s paper of record. The point is that fighting a war on drugs will become increasingly surreal as the ways in which people get high multiply. From Der Spiegel:

“Toad-licking, that’s the latest thing,” says Willi Stier, a police officer from Mannheim. He points to a photo of the toad he’s referring to, a stocky creature from America that can be ordered online.

The toad has glands that can be induced to secrete a psychoactive substance with squeezing. Young people pass the animals around at parties like joints. “Get high, have fun,” says the police officer.

Stier says that some 80 to 90 new drugs have spread in recent years. He believes that 28 new substances were classified under Germany’s narcotics law over the last year, but there are more than that.  ”Drug users look for alternative products or modify the recipes, keeping themselves a step ahead of lawmakers,” says Stier.

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IBM Forecasts Steampunk As Next Big Thing

Clearly the IBM trend analysts haven’t been allowed to visit the likes of Dragon*Con or Comic-Con in recent years as they’re just now realizing that it’s a real trend:

Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that ‘steampunk,’ a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year.

Measuring public sentiment can help retail chief marketing officers customize incentives and services to be more in tune with what customers are asking for…

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Cultural Shifts And Styles To Come In The 2010s

As we begin 2013, here’s DIS Magazine looking forward to our happy, creepy future:

For humanity, gender bending will extend down generationally, all the way to the unborn. Gender for infants will be predetermined and hormone treatments will become standard treatment for children who reject their pre-natal assignments. Trannies will subsequently grow in numbers and be afforded a great deal of respect—especially transgendered pop stars.

Clearly, the current trend of heterosexual promiscuity will continue to accelerate in direct proportion to the rise in gay monogamy. “Republican sex” (formerly known as “the missionary position”) will become a popular term and it will be considered the most risqué, dirty sex a pervert could ever have.

Animal farming will soon reel from unfathomable scandal and animals will develop severe eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Animal obesity will also become a chronic issue. Domesticated family pets will deal with these same emotional eating issues due to the simple truth that these diseases are psychologically contagious and animals are psychic.

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Bacon, the American Eucharist

Picture: Dbenbenn (PD)

John Ozersky ponders the reasons for bacon’s stranglehold on American culture at Time:

Taste
Bacon does have a distinct, wonderful taste, as everyone knows. But you can’t really taste bacon when it’s inside of a double cheeseburger or wrapped lattice-like around a pound of sausage. For my money, you can’t even really taste it when it’s smoked with applewood, which is the bacon equivalent of near beer. But what you can taste is fat. Americans think they don’t like eating fat straight up; they cut the edges off pork chops, use “buttery spreads” instead of butter and go to restaurants that give you bad olive oil with your bread. Bacon is about the only form of straight fat eating that exists within the American mainstream. And fat is the active ingredient in everything good in any meat you can name. The lean muscle is just along for the ride.

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On Bringing Survivalism Into Mainstream Suburbia

The New York Times examines the booming business of selling preparedness for societal breakdown, with more and more Americans worried that civilization may be on the verge of collapse in the wake of major hurricanes, blackouts, financial crisis, Iran building the bomb, et cetera. The irony is that the movement’s proponents are so obsessed with “getting ready” for the end of everything that in a sense they have already given up on our world:

The preparedness industry, always prosperous during hard times, is thriving again now. In Ron Douglas’s circles, people talk about “the end of the world as we know it” with such regularity that the acronym Teotwawki has come into widespread use.

The goal isn’t just to sell to the same old preparedness crowd. Red Shed wants to attract liberals and political moderates to a marketplace historically populated by conservatives and right-wing extremists. It’s about showing the gun-toting mountain man in his camouflage and the suburban soccer mom in her minivan that they want the same thing: peace of mind.

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The Chic Style For Summer: Anarchist Apparel

Fashion as a form of news media? Or an example of how a youth movement is disarmed? Trend Hunter highlights the weaving of Occupy and rioter imagery into designer clothing this summer:

The Commune de Paris Spring/Summer 2012 collection presents intriguing scenes to capture the attention of youths at which the brand is aimed. Implied violence and rebellious spirit are clearly depicted in these images, which are used to create an anarchist’s apparel.

A masked figure in a t-shirt is caught in a striking pose in which he is about to throw a glass bottle with a fuse in it. Two masked men waiting for some smoke and debris to clear the air… Beautiful lighting, dynamic compositions and stylish, wearable clothing. Commune de Paris tries to remind the viewers of this series that there can be beauty in anarchy too.

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The Dark, Traumatized Pop Music Of 2012

zola-jesus-stridulum-epWriting for The Quietus, Ryan Diduck looks at the recent ascendancy of haunted, bleak indie musical acts (Zola Jesus, Burial, A$AP Rocky, Fever Ray) and sub-genres, what he calls our new “cultural obsession with darkness”:

Minimal techno, black metal, witch house, goth…If it can be said that art is an accurate indicator of our collective unconscious, then this could be the darkest age of love yet. Perhaps it’s the ultimate acceptance (after denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and Occupation) that various shocks and collapses are seemingly not going away – that not only was Naomi Klein right, but her books have indeed made the unholy transubstantiation from crisis warnings to disaster capitalist manuals. An emerging constellation of cultural productions in the second decade of the new millennium is, so far, pointing toward a slow descent into the long, dark night of the soul.

Perusing the avalanche of best-of lists leading up to the New Year, the most interesting releases seemed to me to be of the sluggish and spooky sort.

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Gerald Celente’s Dire Predictions For 2012

Gerald Celente

Gerald Celente

Gerald Celente of Trends Research International has a habit of predicting nasty events before they happen. He just emailed us his selection of 12 things we’d rather not see in 2012:

One megatrend looms on the near horizon. And we forecast that when it strikes, it will be a shock felt around the world. Hyperbole it’s not! Our research has revealed that at the very highest levels of government this megatrend has been seriously discussed. Read on:

1. Economic Martial Law: Given the current economic and geopolitical conditions, the central banks and world governments already have plans in place to declare economic martial law … with the possibility of military martial law to follow.

2. Battlefield America: With a stroke of the Presidential pen, language was removed from an earlier version of the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the President authority to act as judge, jury and executioner.

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In Defense of the Hipster

Hipster SharkPART ONE: WHAT IS A HIPSTER, AND WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE THEM? or: YOU’RE SO FAKE (AND SO AM I)

My name is Tuna Ghost and I have a confession: I’m a hipster.

One may think this is a self-defeating statement, like “this sentence is false” or “all Cretans are liars, says so-and-so of Crete”, as one of the commonly accepted hallmarks of a hipster is that he or she will vehemently deny that they are a hipster.  This bit of conventional wisdom is easily verified, all one has to do is ask the hipsters around one if they self-identify as a “hipster”.  Personally, I have to look no further than my own friends to see evidence of it.  By the traditional definition of “hipster” they are obviously hipsters, but thus far I am the only one who will gladly self-identify as such. One may wonder why anyone in their right mind would identity with a subculture that has become synonymous with shallowness, lack of authenticity and sneering douche-baggery (my friends certainly do), but in this article I will demonstrate that this is not a fair assessment of Hipsterism.… Read the rest

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