Do you find yourself exhausted from being angry about something all of the time? Relax! Your just being sensitive to one of the new non-obvious trends identified by trend curator Rohit Barghava, the founder of Non-Obvious Trends.
Manipulated outrage is a product of media, algorithms and advertising combining to create a perpetual stream of noise often intended to incite outrage and illicit reactionary anger usually shared through social media, according to Barghava.
The end of the year usually brings all sorts of lazy, obvious and useless trend predictions. Inspired to do better, Barghava decided to publish the first Non-Obvious Trend Report back in January of 2011 to share some unexpected insights about business for the year to come.
With over 100 trends predicted over eight years, this Wall Street Journal best selling research series by has been used by some of the largest organisations in the world.
Speaking at this year’s SXSW Conference, the affable Barghava disclosed seven of his 18 non-obvious trends for the year and ‘Manipulated Outrage’ topped the list.
Barghava said cable news channels in particular had turned outrage into an industry. Citing the example of Stephen Crowley who photoshopped his baby daughter into marginally dangerous positions, Barghava explained how it has become easy to catch the ire of the Internet and in Crowley’s case use it for his own benefit.
Crowley’s daughter Hannah suffers from a rare autoimmune disease and by making his hilariously disturbing photos go viral, he also made awareness of Hannah’s disease go viral and importantly ways the public can help sufferers.
Barghava said while outrage can be useful such as with #metoo, people stuck in the trend can find it difficult to get out of the mindset. His tip, which he offers with each of this trends, was to acknowledge someone’s outrage, but to then rise above it.
Barghava’s other trends for 2018 include:
- Ungendered – Shifting definitions of traditional gender roles are leading some to reject the notion of gender completely, while others aim to eliminate it from products, experiences, and even their own identities.
- Human Mode – Thanks to automation, people crave experiences, advice, and services delivered by actual humans.
- Brand Stand – Reacting to a polarized media atmosphere, more brands feel compelled to take a stand and highlight their core values rather than try to be all things to all people.
- Lightspeed Learning – The road to mastery of any topic is shorter thanks to the popularity of bite-sized learning modules that make education more time efficient, engaging, useful and fun.
- Fierce Feminity – Over the past few years the fierce, independent woman has emerged, redefining the concept of femininity and reimagining gender roles across the political, cultural, and social realms.