Before the 2000’s and the era of Social Media, the word ‘trendy’ was often used in relation to fashion. Trendy meant that something was current, socially applauded and made you a cool kid on the block. Fast forward a decade or so and we are now in an era where words like ‘trends’ mean so much more. We’ve even added a symbol in front of its most commonly used form, #trending.
Online trends, #trending on Twitter, trend driven marketing and data driven trends may sound foreign to many, but these are the buzz words and must-knows of any marketer in this day in age. The creation and lighting speed adoption of Social Media has plugged us all onto a grid that amplifies connectivity while almost guarantying predictability.
A nation jumping behind their badminton hero by showing their support on their social feeds on the day of his big match (below) is something that any Malaysian knows will happen regardless of all the political anecdotes that they grieve on every week.
A Nasi Kandar store that manages to create a queue almost 500 metres long by giving out free plates of food worth RM 6 (One piece of chicken and one veg) when most of the people queuing up came in their RM80,000 to RM 150,000 vehicles.
If you haven’t guessed what this is going on about by now, you are either not observant enough on Social Media or this post is really not being obvious enough.
Malaysians love trends. We love following them, reading about them, talking about them, checking up on who is jumping on them and setting them. One of the hottest buzz words in the world now is ‘VIRAL’, and every brand, big or small wants to be the next hit so they can justify their digital marketing spend or have exploding sales numbers. Identifying which is the next big thing or what will go viral or not is indeed hard to predict, but what isn’t hard to predict is whether or not Malaysians will jump on the bandwagon when something eventually does hit the fan and become the next viral sensation.
Changing profile pictures on Facebook, sharing an article that most of your friends have shared, watching a TV series that is super trendy when you may not really understand the dialog which is based entirely on early modern period British English but just GOT to, are some of the common trends which we see people more than often blindly following in order to maintain the checks and balance of trend following. It is something that has been happening for decades but now scarily amplified in this modern age of social media where a trend can come and go in a matter of a Flappy Bird week to a runaway ostrich hour.
Is this all something new? Not really, its simply all our innate human traits that have always existed now amplified and accelerated with the power of technology. A power so great that the only one thing that can save our individualistic minds from drifting away like sheep are the bare basics that we are loosing with every like and share.
~We were sheep even before technology, now we are simply sheep on tech acid~