A realization dawned upon me recently, perhaps a little too late – we never discarded the habit of becoming obsessed with that one racecar, or barbie, or teddy at the age of five. That habit has stayed with us, in fact, apps and toys are now made with the intention that we keep that routine of ours alive.

Of course, our obsession is not with toddlers’ toys, but it is with a multitude of things we like to call “trends”. While buying anything- be it clothes, shoes, accessories, or even food – we unconsciously think of whether this item is trendy or not. It is obvious that not every being on earth has been dragged into this rat race of trends, but most people today do have this thought process.

Personally, trends do not seem harmful to me in most cases, although they do tend to empty the pockets of most parents or guardians whose hard-earned money once went towards a toy that did nothing but spin (yes, fidget spinners). All these years, our generation has had collective phases of dressing in a specific way or speaking in a particular manner – the 2016 era, 2017 era, 2018 era, and so on. As these “eras” are spoken of, images start flashing in our brains of what we deemed to be very cool at that point of time (“We” being a significant chunk of Gen Z), which now just seem like things that should be on the “Don’t” side of a Do’s and Don’ts list.

However, recently I have noticed a change in the trends developing, as I’m sure most people have. It has now shifted towards caring for ourselves in ways that make us happy, talking openly about mental health, standing up for repressed communities, and so much more. Reading is trendy now- people share book recommendations from all over the world with one another and obsess over fictional characters and plotlines. Music is yet another force that has taken the world by a storm- all types of genres, regardless of language, have a huge fan following; artists are revered, and the industry as a whole seems to be doing well. People have also been more open about how these daily activities like doing their skincare, eating as they please, exercising, listening to music, spending more time alone, identifying one’s close circle- have helped them become a better person.

By far, this is probably the only trend in so many years that I have actually wanted to follow- where reading is cool, all personalities are respected, and the world is open to so many more discussions that were earlier suppressed under the weight of our inhibitions.

It is essential to talk about the fact that these self-care activities might not come as easily to people as doing what unscripted pranks were, or playing with slime, but that is probably the best part about it- people now are at least aware of this new freedom and opportunity they have. They are aware that no matter what the immediate people around them might say that brings them down, there will always be people from all around the globe who relate with them, and who support them.

I hope this shiny new toy isn’t banished to the land of Don’ts.

– Samiksha Dubey, Amity International School Noida


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