In this permanently connected world we live in, new trends are an almost daily occurrence. I don’t regularly read news papers or magazines in digital or other form and I’ve not had a TV in 15 years – but I still experience trends through my different geek channels and selected social media and they can be as obnoxiously suffocating there as ginger tea and Aloe Vera in the hipster wellness world.
I have an uneasy relationship with trends as a social phenomena. I like to follow and trust my friends’ recommendations and “hypes” as much as the next person, particularly when they seem to be a natural fit. Whenever something or rather a product develops into an unavoidable mainstream icon however, my aversion increases and I loose interest fast. I don’t know if that’s just inverted snobbery, my general suspicion of crowd behavior or appreciation for niches (I am an MMORPG player after all) but it ends with me temporarily withdrawing from things and people that are very intrusive.
Naturally not all trends or novelty products are objectively bad. It took years of persuasion before I gave twitter a go and I readily admit it’s been a great addition to my blogging ever since. I was happy to explore it on my own after the initial hype had died down though, without the collective force of the internet shouting “how to do it best” from every corner.
Pokémon Go is ablaze like that right now and while it’s too reductive to be my kind of game for one, I can see why it’s so successful. And then I think of last night when we took a late countryside stroll with our neighbors and the dog, under a breathtaking sky with the sound of crickets all around and how the neighbor’s smartphone display suddenly pierced the night and he started rubbing his phone to catch a GOLBAT that was sat on a 750 years memorial stone….and that’s exactly why I won’t play Pokémon Go.
I keep the majority of my gaming purposefully on PC and I don’t want it to invade every part of my daily life. If I consider that, no hype around this title can sway me. That said, I’m sure Pokémon Go is amazing to a younger generation than me, less spoiled and tired with gaming trends and fads. Whether it truly brings people together or gets them to go out and “see the world” well, that’s for others to answer. I prefer catching real trains for that rather than the proverbial bandwagon although, maybe not to Oxford just now.
How do you deal with the constant stream of new trends in your social and online environment? Do you readily join the fray, apply certain rules for yourself or stay the hell away from anything that becomes overly popular?