The term ‘trends’ may have various aspects however the underlying concept is the same: acts or behaviors undertaken by a large proportion of individuals in a society. The trends may be social trends, technological trends, or political trends among other types. Each type of trends have different effects on people. In this essay, the focus is placed on social trends. These type of trends occur when individuals attempt to conform to the ongoing acts and behaviors in the society, and within a short span of time, majority of population is witnessed carrying out those acts and behaviors. In addition to explaining social trends, this essay outlines the positive and negative effects of social trends on people.
Fashion trends are the most prominent example of social trends. It can be observed that these trends usually have a short life span as they keep changing constantly. What was considered to be the trending fashion a few years ago is frowned upon today, which explains how trends shift within short periods of time. It can be said that ‘social trends’ are a psychological phenomenon which are influenced by external stimuli such as changes in technology, development of new knowledge, and innovation. A few centuries ago, British females wore corsets which were considered to be the trending fashion despite being uncomfortable for many. Individuals who do not follow the trends are considered to be non-conformists who do not wish to be recognized with the society they live in. Thus, it can be said that uptake of trends is often fueled by the social pressure. An individual considers it necessary to conform to the trends if he/she is to be acknowledged as a part of the society. The term ‘bandwagon effect’ can also be used to explain the uptake of a new social trend fueled by social pressure.
The effects of social trends on people may be both positive and negative. The positive effects include: a sense of identification and recognition in the society, favorable social image, and greater acceptability in the society. The negative effects may include: psychological burden to conform to social trends and consumption of financial resources to acquire the tangible goods required to adopt the trends. Keeping up with the trends may be difficult for some individuals who may not be able to afford the uptake of unnecessarily expensive fashion. This can result in depression in the population which may have health consequences.
It can be concluded that social trends are usually short-lived acts and behaviors conducted by the members of a society after witnessing other members do the same. These trends may have positive or negative effects on people. Considering the chance of an individual to be pushed into depression due to inability to keep up with the trends, it can be said that the negative effects outweigh positive effects.
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