‘Follow the trend lines, not the head lines’

-William J. Clinton

Every generation goes through its set of trends. The older generation had its fashion trends of bell-bottom jeans and hippie culture. Similarly, today’s generation has its own set of trends. What sets these trends apart is their diversity. Due to the rampant increase in the popularity of the internet, teenagers of today are exposed to all kinds of different things. The world is a much smaller place than it used to be, with cultures and ideas from all over the world gushing onto the social media feed of teenagers.

1. Career Path

On the brink of adulthood, the modern teenager is under the constant stress of, ‘what next?’

While many still believe in the power and stability of the 9 to 5, a large portion of teenagers is moving away from that idealogy.

Today’s teenagers are rethinking conventional career paths. The idea of getting a secondary degree and moving onto office jobs no longer pleases the youth. Creativity-oriented jobs are on the youth’s minds. Jobs like content creation, YouTubing, and digital creation are on the rise. Such kinds of jobs have the charms of giving the opportunity of letting the individual work for themselves while dwelling into something the individual enjoys.

2. Exploration

This term refers to teenagers trying out various talents and interests they might have and figuring out what sits well with them. Method of exploration is done for various reasons other than having an outlet that helps them relax in their high anxiety life.

This also helps them be proud and gain confidence in certain attributes that they have. Potentially these interests can also turn into their career choice which they will choose to do for the rest of their life.

3. E-Sports

It is famously said, “do what you love, and you won’t have to work a single day in your life.”

It seems that the youth took that one to heart. A major emerging stream is called E-sports. E-sports, in layman’s terms, is competitive gaming. Gaming is no longer done just as a hobby, the young ones have managed to make even this hobby into a career path.

It is now an actual sport. The players get actual endorsements and sponsors. It has gained so much popularity that the players are treated like professional athletes.

Also read: Top 10 Bad Habits 21st century Youth have

4. Memes

There is no single person in today’s world, connected to the internet and, unaware of what a “meme” is. This trend has seen so much evolution in its composition and structure over the years. Maybe this is the reason for its consistent popularity among all internet users.

Sharing memes is a fad that is seen as a welcoming gesture by most people.

5. Feminism

Today’s youth has taken it upon themselves about various issues that persist in society. One of them being, Feminism. At its base feminism is an idea that endaevours to promote political, social, and economical equality between the male and the female gender.

The youth has started talking about the various difficulties that women face in today’s world be it domestic shackles or unfair and unequal pay in the workplace, as compared to their male counterparts. Not only just talk about it, but many also provide solutions and methods to achieve the targets of the ideology. Simple things like changing what we say on a regular basis like, “a girl managed to do it, why can’t you?”

6. Social Media

Social Media is a big-time fad now. It no longer just sites like Facebook and Instagram. A plethora of platforms have opened up and most teenagers dwell in them. Some as mere observers who take in the content of the platform while others put out content in various fields.

Streaming has also become a fad, so much so that dedicated platforms like twitch have also been released which have a large number of subscribers and watchers.

Add these things to the existing video platform YouTube, there is a considerably high amount of video data consumption in today’s world.

7. Reels/Tik Tok

I’m sure you’ve heard of the famous app “Tik Tok”, and last year Instagram decided to make its own version of the main function of the app and named it reels. These are basically short videos going from 1 second to a maximum of 30 seconds.

People have created various challenges, sing-alongs, dance-alongs, informative videos, or just simple entertainment videos. These quick videos have a large following, and people tend to spend hours indulging in them.

8. Normalisation

There are various things wrong with the world. Especially when it comes to how humans interact with each other. Most of these things are negative and unnecessary. So teenagers have been working towards normalisation.

The concept of normalisation is to stop negatively reacting or criticising activities or actions that are not essentially wrong but are just perceived by society as such.

Normalisation covers a variety of topics like men wearing makeup, men applying nail paint, women not marrying at a specific age or at all among the many other things that are being tackled nowadays.

9. Mental Health

For the longest time, health was seen only in physical terms. This concept has been changed recently, the awareness about mental health has been on the rise like never before. They continue to talk about these issues and continue to make people understand how approaching therapy should be what everyone should do if they feel like it.

Everyone has a different mental and emotional capacity so we should be understanding enough and try to help those suffering, as best as we can. There are various pages and accounts coming up on various social media like Facebook and Instagram that talk about all these things and promote these ideas.

10. Body Positivity

There are all kinds of people out there, with all kinds of bodies. Everyone is built differently, literally, and the teenagers are pushing the cause of accepting it.

There are a lot of individuals who get called out or teased because of certain physical features that they may or may not possess. All the teasing causes various mental issues for the target, like self-consciousness, underconfidence, and various times leading them to believe they’re not good enough.

The idea of body positivity is to spread the thought that it is okay to be the way you are. What is important, is to accept yourself the way you are and if there are things that don’t please you, you work towards changing them.

11.  Self-Acceptance

While body positivity talks about accepting your body. Feeling comfortable and confident in your skin, and if you don’t like something specific then working towards changing it. Changing not because of peer pressure rather because you wish to do so, for yourself.

Self-Acceptance can be seen as an umbrella, this talks about accepting yourself as a broader concept. Accepting your quirks and things that seem “weird” to others. On top of all respecting yourself. Cultivating a good ideology and staying true to it.

The new generation is celebrating diversity, appreciating differences in all respects.

12. Fitness Trending

While there is body positivity, there is also a push towards being healthier in general. Various ideas that weren’t so common earlier like yoga have seen a rise in fame. People have started adopting healthier lifestyles and now it is seen as the new fad. Health is a fad, who would’ve thought? There are people who put out things like workouts or simple recipes that are tasty and healthy at the same time.

People have been busting myths about health and various methods to go about it.

Also read: Top 10 Useful Hobbies to Inculcate in Life

13. Natural is the way to go

While photo filters are extensively used nowadays, there is a general consensus that people should be more open about their real life. Open about their real lives not in the sense that they share personal details, it is more about not hiding the reality of what is being presented.

To put this into context, a large majority of youngsters appreciate those influencers that use filters that smoothen their skin and then also show the real state. Accepting all the blemishes that they possess and then also show and discuss ways in which they are tackling it.

Fakeness is not really appreciated rather nowadays it is condemned as it promotes unreal expectations that eventually lead to a rise in anxiety among youngsters.

14. Being Woke

In its true essence being woke means having alertness to discriminations and injustices. These may be social and/or racial. Today’s teenagers have shown an active interest in acquiring information and educating themselves about the various things that are going on around them. The subsequent discussions they indulge in using this information naturally lead to that awareness being spread and people being sensitised. The murder case of George Flloyd is a good example to understand this point.

15. Spreading Information

Any form of internet content has the potential to spread like a massive wildfire. The thing about this wildfire is that it can spread all across the world using the World Wide Web. Social media has been a great medium to spread information and opinions about various things that are happening around the world.

However, while there is information out there, not all of it is filtered. Here, it falls upon the consumer to verify that information.

Teenagers have been using this wildfire ability to their advantage by spreading information and content pertaining to things that need to be talked about. How the people, particularly the youth, of India is managing their situation in the COVID crisis is a good example to understand this point.

16. Complaining

This complaining mostly pertains to them in a good sense. They tend to complain about things and occurrences that they dislike, make them feel uncomfortable, or feel they are wrong. The sad part is that not all of them perceive and process knowledge properly. Many fail to look at things objectively and may complain without full knowledge of those occurrences.

17. Modern lingo

The internet brought along with it a great fad of modern lingo. Shortening of words while texting or talking online. This has persisted over many years as it very transient and is constantly changing and adapting. Sites like Reddit are where these run wild, people using acronyms like tldr (too long didn’t read), lol(laugh out loud), and pov (point of view) among others left, right, and centre.

18. Clothes for comfort.

Fashion has never been constant, it has constantly evolved along with the mindset of people. In earlier times, women used to wear corsets as everyday fashion because it made them look a certain way. Most of today’s generation won’t stand for it though. Corsets are not the most comfortable thing in the world to wear and nowadays if it isn’t comfortable people are going to think twice before buying them.

The need for comfortable clothing has been emphasised by the teens of today so much so that companies started manufacturing a new category of clothing. A new category called “Athleisure”, the word is formed by combining athletics and leisure. These clothes promise to be comfortable and stylish for leisurely activities while also promising to perform if the need for intense physical activity and or flexibility arises.

Style is still a priority but second to comfort.

19. Minimalistic Fashion

Minimalism has greatly slipped into mainstream fashion. Youngsters are often seen buying minimalistic watches, bags, or other minimalistic designs for their t-shirts.

20. Nerd Look

Its funny how earlier being called a “nerd” was an insult and time has changed the exact same thing into a fashion statement. “Smart is the new sexy” as they call it. Wearing big round glasses and burying yourself in science books is not something to be laughed at anymore. Having messy hair, a few books, and glasses is seen as something cool now. Add to that having an intelligent brain, congratulations, you are irresistible.