“Bird Box”, AirPods, and more: new trends for the new year

Jack Moreland, Associate Editor

Since the last week of December, the internet has been cranking out some brand-new memes and crazes, from blindfolded challenges, wireless earbuds and maybe even unusual candle scents. Two months into 2019, we can take a breath and reflect on these trends and make some predictions for others on the way.

The first trend that started in the final week of 2018 involved the Netflix original “Bird Box”. In this movie, Sandra Bullock’s character tries to survive with two young children in a post-apocalyptic world. They have to wear blindfolds for much of the movie to avoid seeing a “monster” that makes you kill yourself if you look at it.

This film took over the internet for several days, becoming the source of countless memes and even its own “Bird Box Challenge” in which people try to do things blindfolded like the characters in the movie. I personally have not seen the movie yet, but I have found some amusement in the memes and especially the challenge fails.
For example, a blindfolded man accidentally leading himself and his blindfolded children right into a wall while doing the challenge in his house. Fortunately for the safety of “Bird Box” fans (and their children) this trend is pretty much considered old at this point, but we can’t forget it leading us into the new year.

“Hi, my government isn’t working?” “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” In the last week of 2018 the lack of a U.S. federal government became a trend that carried well into January. The government shut down in mid-December because Congress and President Donald Trump couldn’t agree on the budget with Trump looking for funding for the border wall. The two sides have still not reached a final decision and the shutdown now holds the record for longest ever. In mid-January, Democrat Congress leaders suggested reopening the government and then continuing negotiations, but Trump said he was willing to continue holding out and would even call for a National Emergency if necessary. Shortly after, the Senate was attempting to override President Trump’s veto, but Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell conveniently disappeared into his turtle shell and was nowhere to be found. Before the shutdown ended on January 19th, federal workers workers continued to be without pay. The least President Trump could’ve done was buy them some nice, tasty “hamberders” while they waited.

As of February 19th, Congress and the president have agreed to a budget deal without much wall funding, but the president has called a National Emergency to get the needed funding. There is much division on the issue and there is some uncertainty as far as whether the emergency will be considered constitutional or not, but as of now, we can only wait an see.

Our next trend came with the massive influx of Apple AirPods being gifted for Christmas in 2018, making the earbuds a huge internet talking point this year. If someone seems like they can’t hear you, even though they are clearly able, they are 100 percent of the time either ignoring you (which is a different problem) or jamming out to the sick beats of Sheck Wes’s “Mo Bamba” or Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” on their wireless, effortless and magical listening devices.

Going into the second half of our school year, AirPods are likely going to be the arch-nemeses of teachers everywhere as they can become nearly invisible when paired with a hat, a hood or even long hair. This could very possibly transition into another trend of teachers reverting back to the “If you can hear me, clap your hands” method from Kindergarten to get students’ attention.

The last of the 2018 trends carrying into 2019 is predicting the date of the death of the Queen of England. It’s unclear how it started, but a wave of December memes predicted that Queen Elizabeth II would die on January 5. After she survived through that date, the prediction changed to May 1. Supposing she makes it through that date as well, there’s a very good chance the internet will shift their sights to another later date.

The first legitimate 2019 trend with no connection to 2018 started to get big in mid-January and it is an egg. Yep, an egg. What a start to the new year. The Instagram account @world_record_egg posted a picture of an egg on January 4, asking the internet to help it pass 18 million likes to beat out Kylie Jenner’s photo for “most liked” Instagram post. It has taken the internet by storm in these first few weeks, even starting to get attention from bigger news corporations, such as Fox News. It officially broke the record on January 13. It now has over 33 million likes and is sure to keep getting more. Well done internet, well done. Way to scramble that record.

While the egg is no longer a trend, it can be sure to spark other world record attempts. Maybe the ‘most liked chicken on the internet’? Maybe ‘most liked picture on FaceBook’? That one would probably only need around 17 likes though. Anyway, with the egg having as much success as it did, many others are sure to try to get into the spotlight for themselves.

If I had to predict the biggest trend of 2019, I would guess it would be the release and announcement of future live action movies. Several movies are already set to release in mid-2019 and as each one succeeds, another is sure to be announced. Movies such as “Detective Pikachu,” “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Aladdin,” “Lion King,” and “Dumbo” already have set release dates and many more are on the way for late 2019 and 2020. Although I think this trend will be big in 2019, I’m not super excited about it. For some of the movies coming out, the live action seems somewhat disturbing and a lot less appealing than the original cartoons of Sonic or Pokémon. For example, “Detective Pikachu.” This movie is set to release in May of 2019, but the trailer came out late 2018 and I think it’s safe to say some Pokémon don’t translate well into live-action. I mean, a lot of people who liked Pokémon at some point wished they were real, but one can only hope they wouldn’t look like this.

The Sonic movie is in pretty much the same situation. The movie poster is pretty awful if you think too long about how Sonic’s face will look on that very human body, but the trailer released in mid-January gives a little bit more hope to fans of the hedgehog.

Along with those movies, live-action “Aladdin,” “Lion King,” and “Dumbo” are also set to release this year. While these Disney remakes have potential, it will be incredibly hard to beat the animated classics and as of right now, without seeing the movies, I don’t think it’s necessary to try.

I guess we’ll just have to see the finished products to decide if they were worth it.
Now that we’ve talked about most of the known trends for this year, I thought I might try to predict some things we could see later on in the year.

First of all, I think that the FDA will figure out the lettuce problem and then shift their sights to Cheese Nips. I mean, if the FDA was able to find things wrong with Goldfish and Ritz crackers last year, they can definitely find something wrong with Cheese Nips. I have next to no reason for this prediction, I just think Cheese Nips are incredibly sketchy. Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for Cheese Nips) the chances of this happening actually all depend on the government reopening. Without the federal government, the FDA isn’t in operation, and without the FDA, Cheese Nips can continue their reign of terror.

I also think we will see the fall of goat yoga and the rise of yogurt yoga this year. Now, “what is yogurt yoga?” you may ask. Again, no idea. Is it like eating yogurt with your feet? Doing lunges to try to reach a far away yogurt cup? Balancing yogurt on your head while doing the tree pose? One can only imagine. Whatever it is, however, it is sure to be more accessible than goat yoga, just based on the simple worldwide yogurt to goat ratio, which has to be pretty lopsided towards yogurt. It could also take off quickly because people are suckers for alliteration. I mean, just imagine if Yoplait gets involved.

Lastly, I think that 2019 will be filled with the release of the absolute worst scented candles. I feel that candle companies are getting close to running out of pleasant scents and might have to start moving toward the more unsavory options.
But hey, if people are willing to eat avocado toast, who’s to say they wouldn’t be willing to try candles scented with cigarettes, sweaty feet or onions? I would, at least, stay away from any gasoline scents. While it probably wouldn’t smell too bad, it would probably be awful for your health. Also, lighting a candle made of gasoline just sounds like a terrible idea.

Whether we like it or not, we’re only 1/6 of the way through our year, so there are many more trends on the way, some good, some inevitably bad. Regardless, there’s a good chance they will influence how we remember 2019 and I’m personally excited to see what’s coming.