2012 proved to be a compelling era. It was a year where the ambience of the world hinged on a word or an acronym. Actually, it was just another provocative year where the next craze would conquer dialogue.
SOPA/PIPA and Terms of Service
This was an immediate controversy when 2012 began. It was not a fun moment when I was doing research and wikipedia blacked out for the day as a sign of protest. Luckily I was at the library on campus, but this was a definitive sign that a trend can change the way we interact. The voice of a digital democracy worked its magic to squish the act with a quickness. Recently, the trend has returned in the form of Instagram's Terms of Service agreements causing an uproar on the social networks. While this issue is more petty, it is quite often an empowering conversational trend.
The diet "trend" transforms every year, with the public conscience given a battering over our eating habits. Back in my day, it was heralded by the nutrition facts that were mandatorily stated. This year, I noticed a greater emphasis on buzz words that describe the beneficial factors of foods. "Superfood" popped up quite often, which is a silly marketing term.
When we are bombarded by the unhealthiness of our diets, we are reminded how physically unfit we are as well. Enter the Sport of Fitness. As dangerously intense as the regimen can be, it is a training style that trended really hard this year. Crossfit boxes popped up in many places, and the sport's own annual games were sponsored by Reebok this year. The threshold was reached when I saw a Reebok Crossfit commercial on ESPN. I may have been inundated by the trend, but it did influence my approach to lifting weights and interval training.
I can honestly say I put my fingers to the pulse of sartorial trends this year. Watching outrageous concepts flow onto the runway and experimenting with my own silhouette is a necessary distraction for imagination. See: Fashion
This is one of the more exciting trends to boom through the year. It is a true sign of the times when printed magazines and newspapers have shifted toward mobile applications. Considering the prevalence of tablets and other handsets, I am glad to see that information will always be conveniently (and immediately) within reach of the people. Although I enjoy the tactile sensation of turning pages and viewing imagery on a larger scale, the avid reader within craves more information to digest.
The trend of technological devices has reached a pace that shows how materialistic our culture has become. I do not state this in a wholly negative way. Sure, these gadgets become obsolete and superfluous every few months, but the availability of it is always a sight to behold. I walked into a Safeway the other day and saw a vending machine that had Nintendo 3DS' and iPods on sale, which blew my mind.
Proposition 37 and the Organic Food Debate
While nutrition is a varied topic, the argument for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) was a hotly contested platform. Unfortunately, evil Monsanto won the political war for now by throwing money at the opposition. Like propositions before it, expect to see the debate continue as society attempts to define the boundaries of safe food.
Not too long ago, iOS ruled the mobile market due to its popular phones. Even though the trendy hipsters were the foot soldiers for Apple's dominance, the demand for a robust user experience led Google to an arguably dominant position with Android. The current statistics place Android phones with an overwhelming presence in the handset arena.
Bicycles and the Green Movement
The buzz word a while back was "carbon footprint," and I like to consider it more of a "carbon kick" where people are embracing the physicality of local travel via foot-powered mechanisms. On one front, the fashionable aspect took hold as a new way to annoy generations of people. On the other front, skirting the cost of gas and getting a decent workout epitomizes environmental friendliness.
Oh, social media. How it ebbs and flows like a rampant shore. When people track the popularity of this website, we can clearly identify the values of those that browse the internet. Even if Pinterest becomes unpopular in 2013, that remarkable trend has permanently changed the way users will be treated by future app developers i.e. everything must be bite-sized packets of cool.
The rise of Jeremy Lin is perhaps one of the more caustic trends to happen in 2012. The world-at-large would otherwise ignore basketball and the daft American penchant for contact sports (because soccer/football is the real domain of hooligans). "All of a sudden" an Asian athlete becomes a superstar overnight. Memes had a field day. Fanatics were counting his successes as a milestone in sports history. Detractors bid their time for the sensation to cool off. Twitter was tweeting. Next trend.
Nature is the great equalizer; it humbles us above our petty squabbles. It teaches us enigmatic lessons. Usually, New York City is the epicenter for those moments. Calamities have a way of shutting up the moronic chatter and getting us to be aware of individual and collective struggles. Luckily, I am at a place in the nation that has not experienced a awful disaster in a while, so I count my blessings and look toward humanity's unrelenting survival spirit. Also, I know to keep extra batteries and have a way to recharge my smartphone when necessary.