We've all seen them online. In fact, we see them everyday. Constantly. By strangers, friends and even family. They seem innocent enough in the beginning, but take off like wildfire and next thing you know they are everywhere. Time to take a look at five of these trends and kick them to the curb as soon as possible.
1. The Selfie. - Maybe one of the most obvious and abused trends alive today. The selfie has taken over the internet from celebrities to your next door neighbor to your 8 year old. It has somehow become cool to take a million photos of yourself and plaster them to your nearest social media wall for all to see.
But what it really looks like (especially in great numbers) is a grab at attention. "Look at me!". Humility has been thrown out the window at the chance someone might "like" this selfie and provide a small boost of self esteem juice. And if this one doesn't work there will be another chance, very soon, and then another. We get it you are a big fan of yourself, and we are too, but step away from the smart phone and have someone else take it.
2. Online Quizzes Telling You What You Are. - "I just took this quiz and I'm a cat! What member of the feline species are you?" These are everywhere on Facebook these days, and people just keep taking them. It's a pretty clever way for a blog to get visitors. Create a bunch of random questions, have some set list of answers and create a simple algorithm in the background and voila! These quizzes tell you what member of Gilligan's Island you are, what Civil War General you would be, or even what kind of kitchen appliance you are. It's obvious people like to be told they are a Ford Focus (What kind of car are you?!!) based on a set list of questions. I'm just not sure why.
3. Using the Phrase "Wow, Just Wow!" - I'm sure the first time this was used it was very effective in expressing outrage, or disbelief, or both at the same time. The second time, and every time after that, not so much. Now it just looks like a tired, recycled and uncreative way to express outrage and disbelief. If you are using this phrase, please make it stop, just stop.
4. Loosely Using "Prayers" - Online culture has helped make things more compact, from transactions to expressing one's feelings. Something that has gotten a little more convenient but probably shouldn't, is expressing thoughtfulness with the word prayers in it. This can come in several different forms, including "Prayers going up!", "Praying for you", and even the simple term "Prayers". Now, there is nothing wrong with this as long as you are, or will actually pray for them. But, if you are using this term in passing and simply using it to express thoughtfulness and not spending the extra time actually praying for them you are inherently lessening the impact of what you are telling them. I have actually done this before and I feel a little disingenuous when I say it, so I don't say it anymore unless I will actually think or say it in the act of praying. More appropriate may be "thinking of you", or "thoughts are with you" if the extra time is not intended to be spent.
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