We are on Facebook
In 2007 my holiday was spend in Spain. I met a lot of people from all over the world. Facebook was known to me but I wasn’t on it. Many of the younger people I met said to me: Add me on Facebook so we can stay in contact. I did just that.
Older people follow
As in many new things, music, internet, media and products, it is not the older people that make them a succes. As many previous trends, movements, media and internet hypes have proven, younger people are the first to jump on the next new thing.
Music is proof
As we look at the seventies the soul, rock and Rhythm and Blues era’s were run over by the disco hype. The clubs were playing a type of music the was easy to dance to and provided for a style in fashion that young people could express themselves in. As disco became increasingly popular Hollywood jumped on the bandwagon and created the best disco movie of all time: Saturday Night Fever. Catapulting the disco movement into mainstream. Infecting the disco era with a terminal virus called popularity. It started to die immediately after that. The fact is that our youngsters crave for something that is exclusively theirs. I would call it the search for independence.
Whenever they find a trend that is exclusively theirs and marks their independence. Older people get interested in it and after recognizing the appeal, embrace it.
As it happens over and over again youngsters will always continue their search for something new. As the disco era reached its peak, the young people where embracing the new styles as punk, new wave and rap. As young people again and again will reach a state of independence, the older generation will make it mainstream.
What is the next big thing?
As we are all on Facebook, where are our kids? That is the question we should ask. If we find the places where our kids are at online, it doesn’t mean that all of those places will be the next big thing. Facebook skyrocketed into this world as they firstly mailed every youngster in school campus. Instantly it was the place to be for every cool kid. But as the number of parents on Facebook grew, cool kids are not feeling so cool anymore. At the moment our kids are at other places. Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. Are these the next big places? My prediction is no.
The next big thing will grow out of the older publics sight. Facebook started and grew amongst the young. The mainstream public ( read the parents ) were unaware of that internet site. The next big thing aren’t the places I just mentioned because the fact that I know them is already the sign that it my be infected by the mass popularity virus that will eventually kill it. Me knowing it, I am 45, will make want to investigate it, join it and destroy the niche that our kids so desperately need.
The fountain of youth
The only concept that will last forever is the concept that will be a niche for the young and will abandoned by the young as they reach a level of maturity. That concept will not be attractive to older people because they will have no clue why its popular and will have no reason to stay there.
Movements like these can be found in real life. Scenes like that exist and they reinvent themselves through the imagination of the kids that participate actively in its recreation and maintaining its state of independence.