Trends were A Thing in 2020. It was inescapable. In the before times, you could say something classy and superior like, “oh, I don’t really follow trends.” But there was nothing else going on for most of the year. Given the latest COVID news – super-contagious super-strain – there’s still nothing going on because it’s more important to shelter-in-place than ever before. We all (even if you’re not on social media or don’t own a tv) know there were plenty of trends in 2020, and a lot of them were terrible. Here’s your official ranking of the worst trends of 2020.
#1. Dalgona Whipped Coffee
How badly did we all want this to be good? It looks so cool! It took forever to whip the instant coffee/sugar/water into a state of Instagrammable-foaminess. The quality of instant coffee you used was everything. It’s an oxymoron, high-quality instant coffee. If you wanted a Dalgona coffee that was drinkable, it required special ordering overpriced coffee, like Canyon Instant, off the internet.
#2. Tie-Dye Everything
Whoever says influencers don’t do anything real for work has never tried to recreate their content. Driven to unimaginable depths of boredom by Day 3 of quarantine, a popular trend in 2020 consisted of tie-dying clothes. Some with some very grid-worthy results. The rest of us now have laundry-day outfits to remind us forever that face masks aren’t the least stylish thing to come out of COVID.
Fatigue doesn’t cover it. In years past, we may have rolled our eyes at the idea of an indomitable American spirit. But the perky way everyone said “let’s Zoom” for quarantine happy hours, game nights, book clubs, and work meetings revealed a maniacal denial of the dramatic change in our lives. Don’t believe us? Ask for a phone call instead of a Zoom meeting next time and see if your anxiety doesn’t recede.
#4. Home Haircuts
As far as high-risk activities go, salons are up there. Even with masks on, any place indoors where people from different households congregate for extended periods is primed for super-spreading. We were left with little choice but to cut our hair at home. What was fun/funny at first has now grown out into awkward and bad.
#5. Teeth Filing
Teens trapped at home with their families and spending far too much time on TikTok collectively decided that using a nail file to turn their crooked smile into a perfect smile was a good idea. Anyone born before 2004 had a collective freakout. Numerous news articles and reaction videos explained human teeth aren’t like hamsters’ and won’t grow back.
Early in the pandemic, government officials desperate for some good news about COVID brought up hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment. Traditionally it’s used to prevent and treat malaria. It’s also, strangely, a chemical used to clean aquariums. The result was a horrible trend of the federal government stockpiling a useless drug and desperate citizens drinking hydroxychloroquine with the hope of a COVID cure.
#7. Streaming Workouts
Going to the gym is a lifestyle, and if it’s not your lifestyle, it’s a struggle. But even for the most reluctant gym-goer, there are appealing things. There’s the smoothie bar, spin classes, or workout equipment that lets you elevate your heart rate without thinking about it too much. But trapped in our homes, we’re now expected to motivate ourselves to workout. Absent the judgment of others and positioned before the TV, a common trend that unfolded in 2020 was bing watching our favorite shows in our best athleisure wear.
#8.Specialized Streaming Services
What the hell is the Peacock? Why do we need subscriptions to eight different streaming services to stay on top of our shows? We started the year with Friends leaving Netflix and ended the year with the departure of The Office. It seems like every few months, a new streaming service pops up, anchored on an essential show. Why can’t someone correlate all the streaming services into one $40 subscription, so you don’t have to check three places to find your comfort binge?
It turns out a lot of people secretly want to be sex workers, despite prevailing prudish attitudes. During the first lockdown, the number of people on OnlyFans – a site for posting risque photos and videos for “tips” from followers – skyrocketed. Registered users on the site doubled between March and August. OnlyFans paid out over $2 billion during that time to content creators. The flocking of civilians to the site put a severe crunch on established sex workers’ income flow.
#10. Socially Distance Dating
As if dating wasn’t hard enough, a popular trend that developed in 2020 was digital dating. Before, dating and relationships were treacherous enough with emotional vulnerability and intimacy. STIs were also a “concern” but with condoms and responsible sex,, it wasn’t like chlamydia could put you in the ICU. Now, doing anything more than an outdoor walk while masked and six feet apart stands the risk of severe lifelong consequences to your health. Not to mention the person could still be boring and self-involved, which is almost worse.
Worst Trends 2020 Featured Image: Unsplash