Oh, hi there. It's another year and we all look pretty much the same, no worse for wear, right? Sure, it's only been a handful of hours, and January 1 was a little bleary, but here we are, ready to take on 2012 with gusto! 2013? Sorry: 2013. What can we expect, knowing what we know from previous years we've managed to survive? What will be in? What will be out? What do we hope is finally, please, done with? What should remain for the next 12 months, and into perpetuity? With a little help from my esteemed colleague Richard Lawson I've compiled a list for you, because no matter what you hear, lists are still hot in 2013. Read on for more of what we hope, and what we would like to warn against.
In 2013, we forsee ...
The Cliff Will Get a New Name. Fiscally speaking, cliffs will be out, and great, enveloping cravasses will be in. No, but really, we'll be calling the fiscal cliff something new, right? Something creative and mountainous and Hollywood-ready, like ... Fiscal Cliff 2. The Revenge of the Fiscal Cliff. 2 Fiscal 2 Cliff. Harry Reid and the Chamber of Secrets. Fiscally Cliffed. Beyond the Valley of the Fiscal Cliff. Fiscal Cliff: Money Never Sleeps. Thanks to all who suggested these brilliant blockbuster titles. Clearly, we're way more creative than Fiscal Cliff 2.
Excessive Hashtagging Will Meet a Timely End. #Is #There #Anything #More #Annoying #Than #This? #ProbablyNot. Save your precious characters for something good! People will learn, eventually, and alleviate the eye scourge of all of those number signs. #Amirite?
We Will Stop Ironically Liking Things. Won't it be nice to know for sure that if someone says they like something it means they really like it? This year, if someone you know is going to a Justin Bieber concert? It means they like Justin Bieber. ("Beauty and a Beat" is kind of a good song, isn't it?) They're not going just so they can buy the T-shirt and wear it as a joke or write a Tumblr post about their weird tween experience. Fans of One Direction will be just that, devoted fans. None of this being "obsessed" with something stupid because it's stupid. People will like things because they find them good. Mostly this will just mean that people stop denying the fact that certain things are good. You know what? Forget the parentheses. "Beauty and a Beat" is a good song, period. Out in the open. It's not good because of some snickering joke. It's just good. That's the new 2013 truth.
Humblebragging Will Be Replaced by Subtweeting. Instead of saying how great we are, underhandedly, we'll underhandedly focus our tweets on indirectly demoralizing others. (How annoying is it, really, when someone eats a chicken sandwich right in front of you and doesn't even offer you a bite? You know who I'm talking about, you.) For the record, on this subtweet business: We would prefer to see humblebragging replaced by underbragging, but we'll take what we can get.
There Will Be Fewer Twitter Parody Accounts, More Twitter Self-Parody. It is high time that the fake Twitter account go the way of the dinosaur, because it is not particularly funny, and also, it can be really quite crude and even detrimental, sometimes. No more Twitter-spread death hoaxes; we're smarter than that, right? No more 10 different Twitter accounts created for the hilarious moment that some politician makes some gaffe, or some famous baby is born or announced. No more actual writer's fake Twitter.
The schtick has gotten old. Let's try harder. Why not: Parody yourself? Now, that could be interesting. (For a good time, follow @ThatsNotJenDoll and @RickyLaws!).
The Trend Story Snake Will Eat Its Tail. Just when you thought you'd heard it all (or done it all yourself), it turned out that the trend story would never, really die. But what it could do — might do — is turn on itself, inside out, like a dnert. (That's trend backwards, FYI.) When all the trends have been discussed and even acted out by writers for Slate, the trend stories will become really and truly subversive. It's not about bangs, it's about sgnabs. It's not about man-bikini-waxes, it's about sexaw-inikibi-nam. Or, whatever, there will be a twist of some sort, and the trend reporters will be there to make a story out of it. Syadawon sdrawkcab gnitirw s'ydobyrevE!
TLDR Will Be Replaced With TSDR. Everyone will crave lengthy, well-crafted long reads, and if a piece isn't long enough, snarky commenters will rail upon it with their ironic initialism, TSDR. Fine, fine, we're just pipe-dreaming, but whatever. Could happen! Also, everyone will want to pay for content! And Worst Word Lists will be retired and replaced with lists of Words We Love. Maybe.
Vampires Will Go on Sabbatical. With the end of Twilight, normal people in real-world interesting scenarios will be suddenly be all the rage. You know, people like Kristen Stewart and Edward Cullen. Or, um, Kate Winslet and that Rocknroll person. Or maybe mermaids. Whatever it is, we're taking a quick break from the bloodsuckers.
A Decision About Girls Will Finally Be Made. We're only about a week away from the season two premiere of HBO's controversial, blog-fodder television show. Is it smart and funny or clueless and ignorant of its own privilege? Too much bad sex or an accurate depiction of twentysomething coupling? A bunch of spoiled actors from rich backgrounds or a talented new crop of up and comers? Whatever the answers to these questions are, we will get them this year. Won't we? Please, won't we? The conversation can't possibly go on much longer than it already has. Though, to be honest, it's so easy to help perpetuate. Like, right now. But we'll stop someday soon. We've got to.
We'll All Get a Little Slower and a Little Smarter. How many people got busted for Tweeting incorrect (sometimes purposely, sometimes accidentally) information last year, sending it out to infect the public much like a person who refused to cover her mouth with a hand when she sneezes? How many people went one worse, actually plagiarizing or fabricating information in articles, books, or Tweets, and pretending that it was true? Perhaps we can't do much for the people who do these journalistically terrible things, but we can do something about that rush to be first and what it means for everyone. Take a breath, check your sources, make sure what your saying is accurate, or at the very least, add a disclaimer notifying readers to the opposite. It's the least we can do, and it's better for everyone, except people who want to spread lies.
Coffee Will Be Supplanted by Herbal Tea. Ha ha ha, no, not really. We will also stop trying to make cheap caffeine-related jokes that aren't even funny.
No More Ke$ha. This might not actually be all that likely to happen in 2013, what with her popular new album and all that, but we sure wouldn't mind if this faux-rebellious pop brat faded away sooner rather than later. Admit it, you'd enjoy the peace and quiet, wouldn't you? Let's make this happen this year. We've already had enough Ke$ha for many a noisy lifetime.
Corgis Will Be Out, and Something Else In. Corgis no longer be the self-described cutest animal of the Internet. Nope. This year it's all about babies. Or baby goats. Or babies dressed as baby goats and corgis. Or, fine, just baby goats. They're really cute.
We Will Reach Peak Sriracha, and We Will Stay There and Enjoy It. A few Subway shops in California are, apparently, testing a new “Creamy Sriracha Sauce." This can only be taken as good news.
Everyone Will Start Complaining That the Internet's Neither Nice Nor Mean. In the wake of a year in which we were either decrying overall Internet niceness or overall Internet meanness (and rage), it seems clear that we're set to move into a complete and total vagueness about the state of the Internet. But rather than consider it simply a medium through which we channel human thoughts and emotions — nice, mean, and everything in between — we will blame the lack of emotional consistency on the Internet itself. That's how we do things in these parts.
We'll Stop Discussing 50 Shades of Anything. Would that there could be an end to those headline jokes, right? There will be, even as people are still reading the books. There's not a forever for anything, and the hype will inevitably fade — already has, to some extent. The question is, what will they be replaced by? We'll let you know when we find out.
A New Era of Acceptance and Awareness and Shiny Happy Humanity Will Dawn. It does seem, slowly but surely, that we're all become a little more tolerant (on the issue of gay marriage, for instance); supportive of certain general human rights for all; and a little more accepting of people's individual views and opinions. Maybe we're even less quick to rage without reason, and more inclined to conscientious discourse and giving everyone a chance to say (reasonably) what they feel. Hey, maybe we're on our way to being better at being considerate humans who all share a world together in general! OK, this is a particularly optimistic take given that we haven't commuted in a few days, but we have hope. This year will be better, and so will we. We'd cross our fingers except everyone's just shouting wise aphorisms at the keyboard these days.
Insets via Flickr/jake.auzzie, Flickr/James Nord, Flickr/Terence Faircloth.