I’m not sure who’s responsible for introducing the word ‘trending’ into the English language. If I was interested in blaming someone, my hunch is it was Twitter. But, in fact, I quite like it.
Something else I like is Andy Crouch’s article on the ‘Top Trends of the 2000s’ — the decade we all came to know and love as ‘the Noughties’. (As a side note, does anyone know what we’re supposed to call the decade we’re now inhabiting? ‘The Noughteens’ or something?)
Here’s his top 10 trends of the past decade:
- Connection — the explosion of information and communication technologies have extended and reinforced our embodied relationships in myriad ways.
- Place — there’s been a renewed emphasis on the importance of sinking local roots even as we’re connecting more globally (or perhaps because we’re doing that).
- Cities — they’ve made a comeback especially as sites where ‘connection and local presence can thrive simultaneously’.
- The End of the Majority — maybe this one’s a US-specific thing (but one Australia would be much further advanced on), but Crouch reckons ‘we’re all minorities now’.
- Polarities — spinning out of the previous trend (or is it driving it?), we’ve become more and more fiercely tribal.
- The Self Shot — digital cameras made it possible; but what it’s made possible is for us to see ourselves as other people see us (which is even unlike looking at ourselves in a mirror).
- Pornography — together with its ‘close cousins, advertising and popular culture’, porn has become almost omnipresent.
- Informality — as an indicator of privilege and status, informal has become the new formal.
- Liquidity — the focus of global markets shifted more and more from real goods and assets to ‘futures’ and ‘derivatives’.
- Complexity — all the the above combined to thwart every attempt to change the world by seizing the classic levers of power or gaining entry into traditionally influential circles.
I’m convinced that responding to these trends will be an integral part of Christian mission. Better still would be getting ahead of the curve for the next decade!
So I’d love to know how you react to this list.
What does your gut say? Do you agree? Disagree? Which ones would you want to qualify? Which ones would you take further? (You may need to dig deeper into the original article if my summaries are too thin).