13 Things We Hope to Leave Behind in 2019

The end of a year is a time to reflect on the past 12 months and set your intentions for the year ahead. With that spirit, we contemplate leaving behind that which is no longer serving us — and in some cases things that never served us at all. 

From innocuous fads that have gotten tired to harmful social trends that have reared their ugly heads over the past several years, here are the things we hope to leave behind in 2019 as we embark on a new year and a new decade

Flossing

No, we aren’t hoping to make oral hygiene a thing of the past, but we do hope everyone forgets about Backpack Kid’s signature dance move in 2020. The “Floss Dance” craze started in 2017, but it became ubiquitous in 2018 and for some reason people were still doing it in 2019. Although it’s definitely no longer “cool” now that people like Ted Danson are flossing, here’s hoping even the dads of the world give it a rest on this one soon.

“Old Town Road” remixes

“Old Town Road” was our summer jam and it will always hold a place in our hearts. After Billboard dropped it from the country charts because it did “not embrace enough elements of today’s country music,” we were delighted to watch as country, hip hop stars, and fans alike defiantly kept the song at the top of several charts for weeks with countless remixes. But, I dunno, maybe let’s find a new song to carry us into 2020. (Please?)

Launching new streaming services

We’re living in the golden age of television, but with the launch of Disney Plus and AppleTV Plus, and the upcoming release of NBC’s Peacock streaming service, it’s becoming way too expensive to keep up with new originals as well as maintain access to our old faves. Wasn’t the point of cord-cutting to save the money we were spending on cable?

Cancel culture

There are some bad people in the world who deserve to be canceled from public life — looking at you, Harvey Weinstein. However, there has been a mob mentality toward canceling anyone who makes a public mistake, and that’s something that has to stop in 2020. Next year, let’s try to figure out a more constructive way to hold people accountable for their transgressions.

Facetuning

We need to stop deep-faking our own faces to the point that we no longer resemble ourselves! Here’s hoping in 2020 we all learn to stop Facetuning and start embracing how we really look. Plus, as Emilie points out, it isn’t as flattering as you think it is.

“Live-action” reboots

2019 brought DIsney’s live action Aladdin and the Lion King “live action” remake, neither of which came close to the original cel-animation versions. In the latter case, the hyper-realistic computer-generated animals lacked the emotional expressions that made us connect with the characters. Let’s leave our classics alone and tell some new stories.

Actually, just reboots full-stop

At this point, we’ve remade or rebooted every intellectual property under the sun, from Roswell to Will and Grace. And some of these remakes have actually improved on the original, as was the case with Netflix’s One Day at a Time. Still, this bears repeating: it’s time we start green-lighting more projects featuring genuinely new ideas.

Gender reveals

I can’t believe these are still a thing. Not only have too many of the “creative” ways of revealing the sex of a baby gone haywire countless times, but it’s a problematic basis for a celebration to begin with. Babies are definitely worth celebrating, but it continues to be super weird to make a big deal out of what the perceived biological sex of your fetus is, which may have no bearing whatsoever on the actual gender of the fully formed human they will one day become.

Influencer entitlement

Social media influencers have developed an over-inflated sense of what their likes, shares, and reviews will do for a brand or business over the last few years. What has emerged is a growing trend where people with large follower accounts approach small businesses demanding they get things for free in exchange for a post. In 2020, let’s start rewarding makers over influencers.

Rainbow food

From rainbow bagels to rainbow sliders, there has been a color bomb of foods that are designed more for the ‘gram than the gullet. I get that rainbow foods look great on your Insta feed but here’s hoping we embrace naturally colored food that just tastes good in the next decade.

Transactional friendships

Venmo is both the best and worst thing to happen to friendships. While it has made splitting the check easier and also been a godsend for roommates with shared bills, people have started taking it too far. Nowadays you hear about people charging guests for the cost of food at a party (without prior warning), and essentially nickel-and-diming over expenses we used to be far more casual about. The trend of Venmo-requesting reimbursement for every tiny expense is a symptom of a wider trend where people increasingly see their relationships as transactional. They seem to be keeping mental balance sheets with everyone in their lives, always making sure everyone is at net zero. Here’s hoping in 2020 we spend more time considering what we owe to each other and less time tallying up what we’re owed.

Measles

Measles was all but eradicated in the developed world at the beginning of this century. But thanks to the anti-vaxxer movement  that has grown exponentially in the past decade, people are increasingly declining to immunize their children, harming herd immunity and unnecessarily putting at risk those  people who are too young or immunocompromised to tolerate vaccines. Let 2020 bring back a respect and belief in science. 

Which brings us to…

Climate change denial

The next 10 years will be pivotal ones in the future of the planet and the human race. We need to get the entire world on board with the science regarding our warming temperatures and rising sea levels, and we need to commit on a global scale to the changes that must occur to preserve life on Earth.