Historically, a trend ends up in the bin alongside prior items of popularity.
Here today, gone tomorrow. It is a proverb we can all relate to. I am referring of course to social media. It is an infinite canvas where machinations of trends are catapulted from beyond the code and digital blocks of internet euphoria, forced upon us through carefully curated algorithmic content.
But what happens when a trend is no longer trending and the alleged magic withers? Simple. Without waffles or allegoric examples, we can absolutely define the aftermath of social causes through the ongoing ideas of today.
Remember the peace and love movement of the ’60s/’70s? Well, you probably don’t remember, nor do we, but it vanished as quickly as it began once it was commodified and printed onto lunch boxes, t-shirts, movies and more. The same continues to happen today, albeit, there is a difference in the manner in which it is reclaimed by globalist enterprises.
Social media is the modern lunch box, t-shirt and action figure, swallowing much of what is ‘exposed’ onto its coded menu, disclosing without meaning over a sustained period of time mangled by the cogs of its attention depleted users who quickly scramble to entertain shrinking dopamine receptors. Us included.
The power of social media is acknowledged constantly through its increases in reformative movements and gains. But when a run turns negative, it is defended as a cubicle for the freedom of connectivity and information.
While the question ‘what happens once the trend has passed?’ cannot be answered, we can of course look to examples of causes that ran their course in the eyes of social media, such as the plight of the Rohingya, the genocide of Uighur Muslims, victims of terrorism in Pakistan, Israeli encroachment of Palestinian land and the lives that fall due to it. What about slavery in the chocolate trade? The rights of the Congolese, Rwandan genocide survivors and a potential new conflict in Bosnia? The world is a selective place, and it is this selectivity that is akin to a knife point. Not only must the principles of trends fit politically with aesthetically pitched interests, but they must also match those who control the confines of social media’s threshold.
Once a trend has passed, how do we manage what is most important to us? Or maybe the better question is, was it, in the first instance, important to us at all? Were we subdued through blasts of visual influence or was a specific topic something we wanted all along? Neophytes of enterprise? Or neophytes with short attention spans? We are all newcomers to the bright lights of social media, unchallenged until we self-discharge. The caveat in the cavity of the consequences of trend is social media’s ineptitude in yielding any form of quality, and this is largely due to a lust for 15 minutes of fame, 15 minutes of intrigue and 15 minutes of low-quality stardom wedged between innumerable grades of quality.
The problem with trends is that they are picked up by lawmakers briefly and put down just as fast as voters lose interest. Which, in the long run, is incredibly damaging to the subject and rights of all.