Things are changing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up! As the world becomes more and more interconnected, we become aware of all the ways that the rest of the world lives. Trends that might have been fated to stay local a few decades ago now go viral and spread around the globe, powered by social media and the news.
However, much of what we take for granted these days might not stand the test of time. The future might be radically different, and people living years from now might look back at 2022 with a lot of confusion (and probably judgment) about how we did things.
Internet users shared their thoughts about what trends will be the most regrettable in 20 years’ time in an interesting r/AskReddit thread, and we’re bringing you their best insights to get your noggins jogging. From gender reveal parties to denying climate change, some trends are pretty darn bad. As you’re reading, have a think about what fads and ideas you think will go the way of the dodo (i.e. extinct) in the near future, Pandas, and share your thoughts in the comments.
Pop culture and lifestyle expert Mike Sington, from LA, was kind enough to share his thoughts on current trends, what's here to stay, what will (hopefully!) go away, and how the people of the future might react to the fads of 2022. Check out Bored Panda's full interview with him.
#1I hope: mommy bloggers who post constant pics and details of their children. Robbing children of privacy for likes and money is sickening.
Don’t even get me started on ones with sick kids…
Image credits: nikki_therese
Bored Panda asked pop culture expert Mike which current trends, in his opinion, probably won't stand the test of time. "Sharing personal photos of yourself, your life, your family, and especially your children will probably seem very peculiar in a couple of decades," he told us.
"People just now are becoming increasingly concerned about privacy on the internet, and it will be odd in the future to look back and see how much of ourselves we used to willingly share," Mike mused that, in the future, privacy will likely be a much greater concern than now.
#2Minimalist everything. Every house, closet, and restaurant looks the same now. In 20 years, it’s all going to change because we’ll all be bored.
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#3Veneers. People are LITERALLY sawing down their teeth for pictures and likes.
Image credits: Bonfi-Aurora
In the pop culture expert's opinion, no matter how much time passes, humor is "here to stay."
"Funny thoughts, anecdotes, and memes are popular now, and will have staying power on the internet. People often go online for escapism, and humor has always provided that. I don’t foresee that changing," he said that humor itself is timeless. People will always want (and need!) to have a good laugh.
Meanwhile, we were curious to figure out how to tell if something's a long-term trend or just a passing fad that'll go away in just a few years or even months.
"If something becomes popular quickly and seems to come out of nowhere, it’s more likely to be a passing fad," Mike, Hollywood's Ultimate Insider, shared his thoughts with Bored Panda.
#4Mommy needs a drink and mommy wine culture — I hate this BS of normalizing alcoholism and these 'Poor me, my suburbia life is so rough, I can’t make it without wine o’clock.' Huge eye roll.
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#5Subscription-based everything. You can't own SHIT these days. Everything is a matter of 'You can have access to this thing, but only so long as you give us some money per month.'
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#6Barn doors, shiplap, gray wood floors, the entire modern farmhouse aesthetic
Image credits: Milkweedhugger
"Long-term trends with staying power seem to build more slowly, but at a steady pace. Be careful of jumping on the 'bandwagon' yourself, just because something is popular in the moment. That’s the scenario that’s most likely to haunt you in the future," he shared.
"Oh, and gender reveal parties? Get rid of them. Let me break it to you- no one cares what the sex of your child is, except you," Mike said, and we wholeheartedly agree.
Predicting the future is never easy. It can be done, but it’s never going to be close to 100% accurate. Well, not until we develop genuine AIs that can take into account trillions of different factors and how they play off each other and connect into a dynamic, ever-shifting whole, but that probably won’t happen for quite some time yet. (But if it already has, Skynet, we love you, please don’t punish us for liking social media so much!)
#7Climate change denial.
Global warming is one of those problems that we won't truly recognise until the damage has already been done. We are reaching that point.
In twenty years there will no longer be a façade.
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#8Filming everything you do. I was born in the late 1980s and this is just so weird to me since I grew up in an era of film cameras where every shot counted. It's so bizarre seeing some of my coworkers in their twenties film an average workday at the office like it's some sort of tourist attraction. Why would you do this?
Image credits: adragonthatsgay
#9Taking away women’s body autonomy. We will all pay for this.
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Aaron Genest, from Siemens Software, explained to Bored Panda that we can get a good idea of what the future might hold, what technologies will be around, by looking ‘upstream’ in the investment space.
"For instance, it takes almost two years to develop and produce a computer chip and get it to market for a phone, and five years to get something into a new kind of car. So if we want to have a sense for what, for instance, the gadgets in our cars will look like in 2026, we just need to look at what the car manufacturers are asking their suppliers to design today,” he explained to Bored Panda earlier.
According to the tech specialist, industries that invest billions of dollars into particular technologies, e.g. 5G or particular chips, will want to recoup their investments. So it’s likely that the things they invested in will, at least in part, play some sort of role in the future of tech.
#10Gender reveal parties and promposals
Good lord it seems they get more ridiculous every week. This s**t needs to go.
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#11Not sure why but I reckon vaping will prove to be a major health problem in a couple decades.
Image credits: bdogski
#12House/furniture/thrift items being flipped for a profit.
1. The amount of failed flips I see online is ridiculous. Cut corners, trendy designs, and sub par work done by people who sometimes have no previous background. In 20 years flipped houses will be the new "why did they cover the wood floor in vynil, and why did they carpet the bathroom," just on a much bigger scale.
2. Furniture and clothes from thrift stores or places like FB Marketplace are becoming ridiculously overpriced. Everyone assumes that you're a reseller and you wanna take their $30 coffee table and slap some black paint on it and try to resell it for $300. Walking into a thrift store and trying to find some affordable cute clothes? Nice try, we know you're just gonna sell it online so what used to be a $3 shirt is now $15!
Its ridiculous. It's not sustainable when used or flipped items cost almost as much as new ones.
Image credits: vertigirl127
Meanwhile, Ramona Pringle, from the Creative Innovation Studio at Ryerson University revealed to Bored Panda some time ago that while we don’t know for sure what the future will hold, we can count on some trends to keep going strong: “We love stories, and we love to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Be it oral storytelling, books, blogs, movies, or video games, we’ve never lost our love of narrative.”
According to the expert, people will always look for ways to be together, to be connected to one another. We long for communal experiences, whether in concert halls, being entertained in giant arenas, or remotely.
“Immersion and interactivity have long been goals for creators and media makers when it comes to how technology can influence entertainment,” Ramona told us.
#13Electric cars. Horribly bad for the environment, polluting, and non recyclable. Mining overseas for lithium destroys the earth. Still need coal plants to charge them up. Huge regrets for some.
Image credits: KinderJosieWales
#14posting about almost every aspect of your life on social media. I posted some pretty cringe s**t as a kid that is still floating around somewhere, and that was before social media became big. I can't imagine what it's going to be like now
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#15I think people are just starting to regret naming their kids Danerys and Sansa.
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“For the last decade, we’ve leaned into virtual reality because of how it enables both of these. We can step inside a world and have influence over it, and the story or experience that unfolds. I think one of the things we can expect moving forward is, in a sense, the opposite of virtual reality. Instead, more of an enhanced reality or fictional reality, wherein the entertainment isn’t in a headset, but instead, all around us.”
She stressed that a decade ago, people didn’t talk to robots and now many of us do. “Siri and Alexa are some of the more common bots, but we already interface with non-human characters regularly. As technology advances, including augmented reality and mixed reality, I think we can expect that entertainment will be something we can engage with off of the screen, but out in the world, with characters and stories we can engage with throughout the day, or throughout our houses.” So while some fundamental things that people care about will remain the same, the way that we interact with the world—and each other!—can change incredibly rapidly.
#16Too much plastic surgery, fillers and Botox on young people.
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#17Not taking COVID seriously. I think the number of long-term health issues that will result from COVID is going to be huge.
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#18Facebook has explicitly encouraged its users to break down privacy barriers between different aspects of their life, e.g. work, school, and family. This is not a theoretical effect but an intentional one; Zuck has explicitly said that in his view, people who maintain boundaries between different parts of their life "lack integrity" and that it's Facebook's goal to promote "integrity" in this specific sense.
This is deeply dysfunctional.
It's *normal* to have different social contexts in which you present yourself differently. That's how humans have always been, ever since we invented huts and can go inside a hut and be private with someone.
Boundaries between different parts of your life are healthy. You get to decide who's allowed in your hut. Tearing down someone else's boundaries is a hostile act, not a friendly one. (LGBT+ people know this regarding "outing" someone without their consent.)
It should be up to *you* to decide when you feel safe to bring down certain boundaries, e.g. to come out to your family as gay, to tell your coworker about your religious beliefs, or the like.
Facebook is an institution that sees its purpose as including tearing down people's boundaries. That's a problem.
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#19The amount of people that drive full size trucks around is ridiculous. At least 90% of them could live just fine with a little 4 door hatchback. It's sad to think about all of the millions of gallons of fuel that has been wasted by those idiots.
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#20Single use plastics
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#21The scaremongering about trans people
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#22Insistence on using iPads/Chomebooks/etc. for everyday lessons in K-12 education.
Although we are saving paper, sure, and giving one more convenient way for submission of assignments, it has skyrocketed kids’ level of screen time, and often students find ways to be off task or download programs to occupy their time. Use of printed materials and referencing books is now being skipped as students believe everything can be found online (it can’t, and is not scrutinized for accuracy like printed materials). Furthermore, even amongst my “high achieving” students, information retention has dropped dramatically, as students are no longer getting the kinesthetic memory practice of copying notes or answering questions on paper as they used to.
Yeah Covid ruins everything, and yes kids need to be adept with technology, but there is definitely a brain drain I think is dramatically linked to the heightened reliance on personal devices.
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#23Hopefully school shootings.
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#24That weird licking your lips while recording yourself in selfie mode
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#25The men's broccoli top haircut. I've heard it referred to as the "f**k boy" cut.
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#26Letting people under the age of 18 use social media.
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#27In the future, all of the trans hate laws that are passing right now are going to be viewed the way people of today view Jim Crow laws.
#28Vaping at a young age. Studies are already coming out on the dangers of vaping in the short term. I can't imagine what will be shown with long term studies.
It has negatively affected mental health, caused irreparable damage to grammar and the English language as a whole, produced multiple generations of narcissists.
#30Cryptocurrency will be known as a 21st century gold rush
#31Eyelashes so fake they look like spiders.
#32Political polarization in America. I see either civil war or an authoritarian government taking over in the next 20 years.
#33A lot of parenting and schooling trends will change. Just look at now vs 20 years ago.
Gentle parenting is big right now. The idea is fine but it leads to permissive parenting in most of the cases I worked with in daycare and as a nanny.
Not telling children “no” like ever. Not letting them fail. It’s going to lead to a lot of anxiety and stress in future children when things don’t go great.
Although it’s been getting better I still think the amount of homework some kids get is ridiculous. Specially younger children. I nanny a 4 year old. She’s still in pull ups and learning how to wipe. She doesn’t need homework from preschool.
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#34Electing people to public office who have zero qualifications because they’re famous for some bullshit.
#36The destruction of public education (squeezing and outright sabotage of public schools, prohibitive costs for secondary education). The normalization of being undereducated either through apathy or because of forces outside your control. The idea that opinion is equal to fact and that sticking to your original viewpoint is heroic. "Yeah, your studies may say that, but this is how I FEEL about it" and similar arguments.
The reason we are no longer a minor species of omnivorous hunter-gatherers is our ability to pass along knowledge to others. Each generation building on the achievements of prior generations is the path to progress in health, quality of life, equality, production and so much more.
Worse yet, technology now is at a level where if the masses are uneducated, they are also powerless. Small groups of people with specific knowledge have become outrageously powerful and this gap in individual power will only get worse with advances in fields like AI and robotics. If we allow whole generations to grow up undereducated, it will be very difficult for them to understand and affect their world. I feel the exponential growth of wealth gaps across the world is a symptom of this deliberate enforced ignorance.
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#37Nearly all NFTs. Cash grab riding the hype of the 'underlying technology.'
#38giant infotainment screens in cars. when they all look dated in a few years the resale value is going to f*****g suck for those cars.
#39Letting companies freely track our online behaviors
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#40Cruel pranks on strangers for views
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