The two sides of the “trend” on social networks

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Jul 21, 2022 | 05:02 IST

The two sides of the “trend” on social networks

There’s more to social media trends than meets the eye as young people in Goa explain why more young people want to be trend setters

Nathan Shimron

Yes

Young people are driven to feel that they need to belong somewhere or have an impact and inspire people. The trends have been found to affect many younger generation students and inspire them to try new things and take on “challenges” that the internet deems worthy. Some young people focus beyond practical fashion or food trends and have their minds set on social media trends. Trends that toe the line of content creation are hooking young people and as they come and go, college students are looking to grow online. Many students, who see themselves as part of the audience for the great spectacle called the internet, share their thoughts on influencers and content creators immediately jump on new trends. Rachel Rodrigues, a student at Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Panjim, says most students find it essential to maintain a social media presence. She says, “I think it’s important to keep up with social media trends these days because they help get good social media reach and also help maintain social media presence.” She points out that while social media engagement is important to lay people, they don’t go out of their way to follow every trend the way influencers do. “Trends didn’t just happen through social media. A pattern of behavior seen in crowds, followed as a momentary fad, was still there. Personally, even before joining social media platforms, “trends” never mattered so much to me. It was just another recreational activity. Also, since my page is not dependent on it yet, it is easier for me to let go of this pressure to join a trending moment,” says Mrunalini Pai, Mass Communication student at Don Bosco College, Panjim. She observes how trends have a hold on some Instagrammers while some people just swipe without paying attention to the same trends. Other students seek the bare minimum of likes and comments from their friends on their social media pages. Mrunalini goes on to say that students not only compulsively follow trends on social media to “fit in” but also aim for the tiny number difference in comments and views. She says, “However, beyond trying to fit into the algorithm by jumping on the bandwagon, I think some people or social media pages are overdoing it, because every trend may not be really entertaining. I get it’s made for reach, but sometimes the hunger for numbers gets the better of their brand. Also, peer pressure certainly plays a role in making people feel like they would lose their engagement if they didn’t follow trends. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with following trends, but too much of anything is always bad. creators to stay relevant because social media is an ever-changing place. She says, “A lot of people think that influencers or content creators have the right to post an unnecessary trend because of their large fan base, but that’s not the case. Much of the interaction on social media comes from trends. New people find their pages through the different algorithms of the platforms and they grow. Some content creators even get paid for such high numbers. She explains that she doesn’t think it’s fair for influencers to receive such a backlash for simply keeping their page fresh. Daniel Vaz, a student at St Xavier’s College in Mapusa, noticed how important it was for younger generations to follow these social media trends. He says, “I see a lot of my young friends doing dances and following other makeover crazes on Instagram almost every day. I don’t think this generation absolutely needs to follow trends outside of the people whose livelihoods depend on it. Younger people follow trends for fun while teenagers do it just to get their five seconds of fame. These students began to point out that there are always two sides to a story like how trends can be a necessity but also a fun hobby. Social media trends have this effect on young people to trigger their subconscious desire to fit in and feel validated, but also a great way for a kid to stand up and say “hey, let me try that too! ” and “let me share how I can do it too,” giving them that extra little boost toward a more confident future.


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