Social Trends – Then vs Now

Over the year’s trends have come and gone, meaning how we spend our free time today is very different from how free time was spent a few decades ago. The world is continually undergoing cultural and societal shifts, and social trends reflect this. Some trends become distant memories, whilst others stay with us and evoke a sense of nostalgia when we rediscover them. How do trends today compare with social trends that our parents remember, and generations before that?

Do you know the difference between a millennial, Gen Z, and a baby boomer? I bet you do. Even if you don’t, you’ve most likely heard there’s nicknames before. These nicknames break down different generations (but are never an exact science), and it’s interesting to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between them. For example, the internet and social media may seem like the Wild Wild West to a baby boomer – or anyone your grandparents age and older. Half a decade ago, MySpace was all the rage and it’s where many people started lucrative careers. But ask a Gen Z’er today about MySpace, and they’re likely to stare at you like a lost puppy. Behaviour over time changes drastically due to shifts in culture and technological advancements; what’s trendy now will be far different from the past, and far different from the future.


Now that we’re entering a new decade, who’s to say what will be trendy in the 2020’s? One things for sure, we’re moving slowly away from cyber connection to real life human interaction. Some may say we’ve gone full circle. Putting your devices away, getting outside into fresh air, and doing something in real life is more valuable than ever. As mainstream social sites are losing their sense of community and connection, we shouldn’t be surprised that we are spending time in ways significantly different than just a few years ago. Living in the developing world means our habits are never going to stay the same for long, the unpredictability forever keeping us guessing.

A hundred or so years ago we weren’t living in what we now know as the digital era, the mobile phone hadn’t been invented, and things were the polar opposite of what they are now. New trends and crazes have always spread rapidly like wildfire – but as soon as they come into existence, they die out just as quickly. As a society we’re busier than ever and our waking hours are jam-packed with social activities we give little thought or attention too. Social trends today compared to those just ten or twenty years ago look vastly different; as for the future we’ll never be able to say for sure what will be trendy.

Written by J’Nae Phillips

Follow J’Nae on Twitter & Instagram 

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