The Smoke Signal

How are Trends Affecting Us?

Aiko DeArth, Journalist

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Courtesy of Creative Commons

The four years that teenagers spend in high school encompass some of the most lasting memories we make in the span of our lives. And in these years, there is a continuity that fosters the entire experience we have: trends. Essentially, the trends that come and go are what define our days in high school.

This year, a poll that journalism released for the teenagers of Ripon High concluded that the most popular trend of the year was the hit tv show Stranger Things. It was followed by fidget spinners and the song “Despacito.”

These trends all hit RHS with full force, leaving very few people who had not seen Stranger Things and who also did not own a fidget spinner.

Although these things seem minuscule and trivial in the grand scheme of life, these “things” are what a majority of our lives encompass every day. Not only do trends like these exist everywhere we look, but often they dictate the choices we make.

It would be easy to just describe the trends in 2017 like the use of fidget spinners, that further stimulate the image of imbecile high school student, but there is more to this story.

The reality is that many other trends exist. Trends exist that set the social standards that determine how popular a person is and where they find friends. These can be anything from clothing brands, to music, sports and partying.

These trends stand most important because they are what control our decisions every day.  The mindset that is created around trends and doing the things that define being “popular”, seem to blind people from making the decisions they wouldn’t, had they not existed.

Aside from that, many people seem to care so much about their appearance like the image of them having many friends, etc. It has come down to the point where people may not want to go somewhere when alone. The fear of being seen alone stimulates actions like looking down at our phones to look busy, using headphones, etc. Is creating these fake people really the point of trends? Because essentially all trends have done is made many people want to fit into a certain image. That is, what they see as “cool”,  but that is not really who they are, is it?

So essentially, partying, dressing well, listening to the right music, etc, are what matters in high school. Consequently, when people do not meet those standards that have been created, they are not as socially accepted as others who do abide.

What does define a person as “cool”?

The truth is that “cool” is not easily summed up on paper, however, to high schoolers it may just be a set of actions based on trending things. Such is influenced or determined to be “cool” by rap artists and other influences on social media. 

Although it seems trivial, these trends are what currently define who we are and what we are seen to be by peers, as well as what occurs in our high school moments.

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