Trends that are so last year

Trends to leave in the past

Trends to leave in the past

Patrick Williams

Last year had it’s ups and downs. On the positive side though, 2013 gave us the start of the reign of an intelligent and admirable new pope, a space probe leavi2ng the solar system for the first time and the death throes of the best show to ever be on television, “Breaking Bad.” That’s cool and all, but meanwhile, the government laid off its employees and collected phone records of people who sent Snapchats of each other twerking. An array of wacky trends emerged in 2013, and some of them should have died when the ball dropped. 


Oxford Dictionaries defines “twerk” as “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.” The Oxford definition is especially important because it was added just days after Miley Cyrus did it on Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Although the former Disney star’s performance made worldwide headlines, Cyrus didn’t invent twerking. In fact, according to Time Magazine, the week before Cyrus’ controversial performance, rapper Juicy J offered a scholarship to ‘the best chick who can twerk.’ 

This must all be a terrible dream. Put some clothes on, and please stop.

Government Gridlock

It’s no secret that the U.S. government hasn’t been doing its job lately. In an essentially years-long standstill, Democrats and Republicans still can’t seem to agree on much. While times like these make for great political cartoons, the American people are still the ones that have to pay the price.

This all came to a head in October when the U.S. government shut down for the first time since the mid-‘90s. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led Republicans in Congress to hold the government hostage in an attempt to defund Obamacare. Of course the defunding didn’t happen, but, according to USA Today, the numbers of workers furloughed were in the thousands. Also, according to the Huffington Post, The National Park Service and The Smithsonian Institution lost millions of dollars in revenue — not to mention the National Zoo’s Panda Cam was cut off.


Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion offer from Mark Zuckerberg to buy out Snapchat last fall, according to Forbes. Spiegel is confident the app will eventually make tons of money as it continues to quickly display and erase photos on millions of teenagers’ and 20-somethings’ phone screens. 

More popular than ever, Snapchat grossly defines our frantic culture even more than other apps and technology such as Vine; it eliminates the possibility of being able to actually document for future reference the moments it captures. Snapchat was created to keep personal pictures away from weirdos and creeps, but its false promises of security fell privy to a hack New Year’s Eve, according to NBC.

Government Surveillance

Arguably the biggest news story of 2013 was about surveillance information leaked from the National Security Agency by its former employee Edward Snowden. While the president and other U.S. officials have tried to defend these warrantless measures as ones against terrorism, they go far beyond, infringing on personal space.

It is the specifics of the surveillance that are the most troubling. The NSA uses complex algorithms to figure out the relationships between people based on where they take their phones and plan to build a super-encrypting ‘quantum computer,’ according to the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman, who Snowden also leaked documents to. The surveillance trend wasn’t left in 2013, but it would be nice if secret powers weren’t on their way to monopolizing quantum supercomputers and listening to phone calls between my mom and I. Freaky.

Contact Patrick Williams at [email protected].