19. Unproblematic Problems
For those who wished to be “the...a voice of their generation,” the simpler route went as follows:
A. Take an overarching theme or identifier
B. add the word problems
C. Make a twitter account
D. Bathe in the sea of low-hanging retweet fruit
I’m starting to think we are now moving beyond this trend, which is certainly refreshing. That is, before it’s warped into some sort of inevitable “problem."
18. “Dude, let’s totally get tickets to Ibiza/TomorrowLand/Ultra this year”
It’s not often that you find someone who has the remarkable ability to consistently dress like a radioactive peacock. But when you do find this winner of a human, you know you’ve got a friend for life.
(Or at the very least, someone to screenshot tweets and muploads of, and send them to that email chain that’s only there to make fun of your high school friends/announce when people get engaged or arrested.)
This was so big, the folks over at MTV and their endless dinner buffet of hyper-targeted market research decided to air a TV series about the concept. “Underemployment” of course, referring to us entitled 20-somethings not being offered to be the CEO’s of our dream fields and/or getting paid massive amounts of money to perform the tasks of our choosing, without pausing to consider whether or not said initiatives are profitable/have any sort of commercial appeal.
16. 50 Shades of Thrones
Graphic fantasylanding was pretty huge this year. You may have dug the fettishes from HBO’s hit series “Game of f*cking Thrones, but it wouldn’t be outrageous to connect your girl’s sudden odd desires in bed with her recent perusing of the somehow socially acceptable sexual bondage encyclopedia commonly known as "50 Shades of Grey."
15. Eliminating Future Wife Candidates by Looking At Their Pinterest Boards
Maybe that was just me.
14. Uniformed Political Opinions
“The economy sucks. We need someone that can lead this nation, and make us great again. Hold on, let me find a bunch of buzzwords relating to the issue I want to emphasize. Now I will attempt to employ a meme sprung from the latest debate or viral video, contributing to it being incomprehensibly overplayed.”
--Most Facebook Statuses between September 15th and Election Day.
13. Post Grad Problems/Forced Adulthood
Judging from this twitter account, you’d think that people born between 1985-1992 are the first group of people who used to go to college, but now don’t.
Strangely though, these guys are definitely onto something.
12. Grouper/OK Cupid
There are two types of postgrads--those that think doing online dating is somehow a compromisation of their awesomeness and is therefore too large of a pride pill to swallow, and those who “resort” to online dating, only to preface such usage with this somewhat detached positive justification, making it seem like "Of course I'm above this...I'm just using it to get some reps in."
11. Getting Over Taylor Swift
This was the year where even those of us who loved Taylor Swift unconditionally realized that something is definitely up with this one. Darling no more, and the fame cycle rides again.
10. The Comment Section
Far and away the best and worst by-products of the internet is the comment section. I’m actually slightly disappointed/thankful that ours isn’t as active as say, sites where reading the comment sections are far more entertaining than the actual content of the site itself, but it seems that 2012 was a banner year for the internet commenter.
Perhaps most importantly, the world’s finest, Ken M., was duly recognized.
This place has been going so hard, it’s no longer just a hipster-haven. Jay-Z and the Barclays made Brooklyn even more of the place to be, and my completely unsupported guesstimation indicates that saying “you live in Brooklyn” is no longer declaration of inferiority to Manhattanites. The bridge and tunnel crowd is making it’s play for #citydomination, and best get on its level.
8. The 90’s
It’s been talked about enough, and it’s been long-rumored that viral content website/adult version of children’s picture books Buzzfeed's sole mission in life is to relate everything that’s ever happened back to the 90’s.
As glorious as it is infuriating, the fact that we’re finally starting to experience a backlash means that the 90’s are officially the new 80’s, 70’s, AND 60’s.
7. Self-Defensive Snark
Kind of like me writing a category topic, and then making fun of it to avoid being called out on it.
6. The Friendzone
The torture chamber of males being too afraid to make moves on females has seen its numbers rise in staggering fashion. In the electoral college of the sex world, the friendzone is now up there with the Florida’s and Ohio’s in terms of seriously mattering.
Top Bro and legendary friendzone exterminator J Camm, a man who possesses a slugging percentage most Bros can only dream of attaining, has long stood by the following groundbreaking advice in regards to avoiding the dreaded friendzone:
5. The Brohemian
A few years ago, it seemed all but impossible that one could blast Dashboard Confessional and “crush mad beers” at the same time. The Brohemian thought otherwise.
All in all, this is simply a baffling fusion of the quintessential Bro and the quintessential hipster. Because I’m lazy, am currently contemplating what long-term health problems I may accrue from staring at a luminous screen 14 hours a day, here’s something previously written in this column about the emergence of the Brohemian:
Within every Frat there consists a Brohemian or two. They'll embody many of the usual fratty qualities, but will also have otherwise alarming interests such as worshipping the band Fun. (now they're all about "The xx"), and independent films whose only message is not really having any message at all. Because many of these dangerously NF specimens often don't really give a f*ck that people may raise their eyebrows at the fact that they sometimes have deep thoughts, they've been popularly dubbed "Brohemians.
It’s common knowledge that dating on college campus has long been on the decline, ceding to something that people who like to characterize trends with tangible terms in order to make them appear more legitimate and indisputable are calling “hookup culture.” Namely, the propensity for males and females to accomplish the desire for physical intimacy via a dancefloor, successfully eliminating the long-standing middle-man of establishing an "emotional connection."
The result of all this is that if people are marrying later and dating less frequently, more time will be spent with the Bros. A band of roommates then, is increasingly becoming a misfit family--both in college, and as the group moves onto the postgraduate sphere.
This wonderful Craigslist posting from earlier this year, in which two Bros sought “A Renaissance Bro to assimilate into the existing Bro community,” nicely sums up the formation of the modern-day Wolfpack.
3. EDM Tastemaking
This is a trend music-wide, but it’s really the most fun to observe in the ambiguous EDM genre, often defined by the haterz as a loose compilation of DJs attempting to expedite human hearing loss.
I may be wrong about this, but as EDM moves further and further into the “mainstream,” the backlash of the earlier “underground” supporters has created a rather hierarchy of “scene acceptability.” Just like in any genre then, it’s an unwritten rule that true fans will embrace, let alone be aware of the hottest up-and-coming acts.
However, given the polarizing nature of certain subgenre’s of EDM qualifying as actual music (and not simply exercising the various settings on your new powerdrill), the further we fish into the murky depths of EDM subterfuge, we increasingly stumble upon music that nobody actually likes, but proclaims to like in order to be considered a true EDM authority. Furthermore, given the fact that this sort of thing is solely identified as a hipster complex, Bros of the EDM world have been faced with quite the dilemma.
(And I mean, come on. You can’t actually like all 142 songs on that RAVE 2012 playlist, half of which are at least 7 minutes long and don’t actually get started until 3 minutes in.)
2. A Particular Four-Letter Acronym That Advocates Making Decisions Based On the Fact That You Are a Functioning, Breathing Person, But Are Not a Functional, Breathing Person Over the Course of Multiple Lifetimes.
Preceded by a hashtag.
1. The Attention Economy
We pay our bills with money, but it seems that us “people that are about to go and do big things” in this world are increasingly subscribing to another form of currency, perhaps more stable in the long-run. I’m talking about the currency of self-worth, that likely overhyped “personal brand” shit you hear about from articles written by people who call themselves consultants simply to earn a higher pay rate. In a world that is dangerously becoming just as much virtual as it is otherwise, the attention economy is becoming a huge deal.
We’re arguably the most selfish generation out there, which could easily be traced to the fact that many of us wish to pursue careers where we make great livings by doing something we claim we’re good at. I guess getting paid for being interesting is a noble cause, except that (a. it’s not, and (b. in order to be good at something you’re good at, other people have to recognize that fact. Meaning that in order to maximize the value of the resource known as yourself, you’ve got to balance your quality of your work with your existing social influence, then leverage that relative to acceptable distribution protocols of someone in your position. Except that you also have to do something slightly out of the box, thus maximizing the worth of your “look how awesome I am” press release. Deep breaths.
Be it the consistency and quality of your funny Facebook statuses, or picking and choosing the right people to tell about your recent job interview, the attention economy rules all. Sure playing the market could get a bit overwhelming at times, but there aren’t many highs and lows quite like the one’s you’ll get here. It's the biggest love/hate game of them all, but you've gotta stay on the court. No subs.