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In the spirit of trends: 10 things you should consider

Trends are gaining so much acceptance and as exciting as it gets, it gives a lot to be concerned about. Social media is a basic influencing factor for trends. So long as you have friends and viewers on your social media pages, whatever you post must be seen(viewed).

According to google, a trend is “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” Well, a good definition but not exactly where I’m driving at. Google also calls it “a fashion”, meaning- the way something is done. Okay, this could work but let’s see another one from Google which says, “A topic that is the subject of many posts on social media”. Aha! That’s what I’m looking for. This should guide my point on trends effectively.

On social media, trends are attaining full sovereignty. In anything you choose to achieve, so long as a trend has been infiltrated into it, it gains popularity. Creatives who are very active online use trends to gain receptive endorsements. This is how powerful trends are…or are getting. We will be considering some things we should know about trends in social media.

Why are trends fabulous?

  • Trends are intriguing.

The popularity it gets in such short periods baffles me, to be honest. It doesn’t matter how simple or crazy a topic is, so long as it gains fashionableness, its works as a trend. “Mad o”, a very popular Nigerian trend, which was known to mean give an illusion of shock or surprise, surprised me as I still can’t fathom how ‘mad’ and ‘shocked’ turned synonyms.

  • Trends are popular.

People love them. This is seen through hashtags being attached to posts on social media. Everyone wants to be associated with trends for one reason or the other. Either for business reasons or for clout reasons, trends are used.

  • Trends are daring.

I never imagined challenges would get so much usage but it is getting it now. This was popularized by the TikTok app. There are so many challenges to jump on in TikTok. The very recent one is the #Silhouette challenge that gained so many views on social media. It involves people uploading themselves on TikTok with loose clothing…or no clothing at all. Challenges are mostly daring as you wouldn’t do these things normally.

  • Trends are relatable.

For a topic to gain popularity, it should be relatable. For example, for me to follow a trend, it must have put me in an imaginative scene or it must have reminded me of something or an experience. The “na the matter we dey settle” trend gained so much acceptance and was hilarious. The posts were not real but the immersive experiences they bring makes you laugh hard.

  • Trends are directional.

There is always a message to pass across. It could be a particular topic of discussion. It could be a word that is significant of an event. It could be a gist or news that is creating controversies. It could also be a challenge that dares people to extraordinary or weird things

  • Trends are informative.

Whenever I see a trend online, the first thing I do is find out what prompted it. What does that word mean? Why are people using it? What story is behind it? The very popular #Endsars trend that gained so much popularity in the world was more informative for me because eye-opening facts were shared about the political state of the country. It also gave so much exposure to how fast social media reaches and connects people. The internet is another world on its own. No barriers once you have subscribed to data bundles.

  • Trends are ephemeral.

Just like fashion, trends come and go. As fast as they are accepted is just as fast as they are dropped. The longest trend on social media is the #Endsars challenge which started in 2017 and, although, it’s not topping the list on trends anymore, it

it is still being used today. Apart from this very sensitive trend, other trends have been short-lived.

Alternatively, there are factors you should consider before following a trend

  • Trends are ephemeral but the internet is not.

There is a popular saying that “the internet remembers”. Whatever you do on the internet, stays on the internet. How? Websites keep videos; people have enough spaces on their phones to save your “30-seconds madness” or you several hours of abnormal exhibitions…lol. The moment you come out to do something that contradicts what you have done before, history is brought to present to remind you.  

  • Trends can be viewed from anywhere and by anyone.

Before posting a challenge or “hashtagging” a trend, consider who sees it. A simple challenge or post could cost you your job or spouse(future and present).

  • Trends can be deceptive.

News or gist spread through trends could be false. In the end, you could be following lies. For instance, a lot of videos are uploaded on the internet and are used for fraudulent purposes. People tend to instil fear in people by uploading stale unrelated videos and eventually deter people from the truth. You can’t depend on trends because they are not based on facts.

To wrap this up, trends are great. I remember jumping on some fun trends out of boredom, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Although, in the spirit of trends,  it is essential to consider the implications before delving into the usage.

Ifunanya Mbakogu

Ifunanya Mbakogu is a professional editor and proofreader with a bachelor's degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. Drawing from a solid level of interpersonal and analytic skills, she is able to present societal issues and matters arising in engaging ways. She is an Editor at Talku Talku.

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