With the new year in full swing, one cannot help but wonder what social and cultural trends will be highlighted and reminisced upon at the close of 2016. 2015 held some interesting ones, including everything from the “whip” and “nae nae” dance, to a ferocious debate on social media over whether a certain dress was white and gold, or blue and black.
Though I realize that many of us would like nothing better than to erase our memory of these from our minds, I think that by discussing them can be done in good humor, and can also to aid us in avoiding them in 2016 while at the same time encouraging individuals who stand against borderline cultic behavior, to voice their opinion freely.
This word, which until recently, has been associated with the idea of small, tightly knit units of soldiers or players on an athletic team. However, starting in 2015, it has been used as a type of street slang by youth to refer to a group of their friends. Many times, it was found in the caption section of Instagram or Facebook photos in a phrase or statement such as the following: “me and the squad, chilling together,” “my squad is on fleek” or “my squad has their shoe game on point.” Sadly, they have butchered and misused this term to the point that it is futile to use it when implying to its’ former, age old meaning I mentioned earlier. This past year, I sighted this viciously non contextual use of such a word all over my Facebook newsfeed and Instagram. Though the rhetor may be an expert in the use of words, their use of this phrase could cause them to appear as though they lack of proper grammatical knowledge.
Self-obsession is quite an issue in a 21st century, materialistic world. Though taking a selfie every now and then is not bad (as one can use them to share an experience or simple, portrait of themselves with others) let’s be honest; our society has perhaps gone slightly overboard with “selfies.” This simple photographic technique has been used so much, that products like “selfie sticks” have emerged into the market and even researches have been conducted, analyzing and studying the trend and effects it has on participants.
3. The “Whip” and “Nae Nae”
Everyone loves a good classic line dance, like the cha-cha slide, or cupid shuffle. However, very unlike these dances, the “whip” and “nae nae” look downright silly. The movements are not smooth, the rhythm doesn’t flow, and even though I’m not a dance critic, I like to think that common sense would advise against participating in it. It looks more like a karate training scene from a corny late 80’s/early 90’s movie than a fun and enjoyable line dance one would typically participate in at a party. Additionally, the song that accompanies the dance is the exemplar of annoying and repetitive pop songs made to sell and not for the sake of good music.
Now, are these trends going to cause our country to fall into a pit of moral despair? Of course not. I simply hope that we can wave them, and all the other silly trends of 2015, goodbye as we move into 2016.
Philip is a Staff Writer at the Daily Runner.