2020 Trends: Evolution and Survival of the Fittest
BY KERA MATTHEWS '24
Throughout the past year, we’ve seen people adapt to pandemic-life in different ways. And of course, given our generation, teenagers responded with the only way that we know: trends! Whether it was reviving 90’s trends like tie-dye or bolstering new ones like going vegan, many have funneled their boredom into entertainment. While 2020 has been challenging to get through, it has also spotlighted people’s unique ideas. Ultimately, which trends will last? And to the trends that last, how will they evolve?
Going Vegan: This will definitely stand the test of time. With popular influencers such as Tabitha Brown creating innovative methods to make vegan food delicious, more and more people will likely go vegan. Eventually, vegan restaurants will pop up around more corners. Given that America loves its fast-food restaurants, it may take some time, but with celebrity influence, vegan options will be more widespread by 2070.
Streaming Services: People don’t watch cable TV anymore—Netflix is our real savior. That being said, streaming services will probably last for a while. However, technology is constantly evolving, so soon enough, we might not have streaming services in the same way. I predict that libraries of streaming services with a physical selection, almost like a Redbox but expanded, will become the new norm. Similar to vinyl stores, I imagine that streaming stores, like a nice blend of a vinyl store and a library where customers get to choose tapes of our current favorite shows and movies, will appear. For example, the Disney+ section of the store would contain a tape of the movie Cinderella, and on a separate shelf, there would be a tape for every season of Hannah Montana. All of these would be in the store and available to check out or buy. Through this “streaming services store,” our childhood memories would be stored physically and forever.
Online Workouts: Remember when Chloe Ting took over a year ago? I do too! As popular as they were, I don’t think that these will last mainly because it’s really easy to lie on the internet, especially about difficult goals such as getting in shape. Ting wasn’t necessarily lying when she claimed her workouts promised abs. However, many people that did her workouts expected to get abs in two weeks, which is a completely unrealistic goal. It also becomes discouraging when people exaggerate their experiences. Instead, when it comes to workouts, we will lean towards doing things our way. I believe that actual gyms will stay around and be upgraded with technology that caters to each person’s specific needs to help them use the equipment and stay fit. Overall, individualized technology to better people’s health will increase in popularity.
Green Screens: This may not have been newly invented in 2020, but with Zoom, many have turned to green screens as a way to block out the messy scene going on behind them (looking at you, rowdy kids and pets). Green screens will last, but will be upgraded into a more realistic-looking visuals. For example, if you make a call to a friend on the phone, you would can see each other popping up through your screens as you hold your phones out in front of you (think facetime but holographic). Surrounding the 3D image of your friend, you would see a scenery that they would appear to be in. Their messy bedroom transforms into a tropical jungle with the click of a button. Whichever way you turn your phone, the green screen world will follow and project that image to the person you talk to. This would allows for some fun calls with friends and family!
Custom Face Masks: This is a special one for us this year. In the future, any kind of mask will be customized and catered to those who might have found the standard blue one uncomfortable (and boring). Once normalcy (hopefully) returns, face masks might not be conventional over the next couple of years. They will, however, return as a trendy fashion accessory rather than a necessity. Granted, the face mask will probably still serve as an essential item for whenever we feel sick, but as with most trends, it will be updated into a more technologically-advanced contraption in the future. With buttons around the ear loops, it will be able to extend, and on the inside, you’ll be able to change the masks’ color or pattern by clicking on the various options displayed. By doing this, we will create something entertaining and useful out of a rather mundane tool.
It’s safe to say that we have endured the fiasco that was 2020. We will constantly be reminded in many ways that we actually lived through that, but maybe it’s not in the way that we think. As we live through the next generations and pass our ideas down, trends that we started or revamped will get a second (or third!) life. We will cringe and rejoice at what we got out of the hardships of 2020, but be pleased that new generations come to praise what we took for granted.