As we say goodbye to 2018, young people seem anything but prepared for what is coming next. We will welcome 2019 with no way to predict what we will see over the next 52 weeks. This year showed us some bizarre times, and we’re sure the next one will be filled with even weirder ones.
One thing we can be sure of, however, is what we face to lose. Trends continue to shift away from conventional norms and into unknown territory. We’ve outlined some of the things we might be saying goodbye to in the next year. Strap in for a healthy dose of nostalgia…
The Battle Of The Straws is well and truly in full force. In 2018, we saw a strange culture war take form in those who wanted to ban the billions of plastic straws vs. those who felt it was unnecessary virtue-signaling. The US state of California will phase out plastic straws and private companies like Starbucks have also pledged to reduce their use.
But why? Well, young people are now spending more money eating out than cooking at home, resulting in 300 million metric tonnes of plastic waste per year. Say goodbye to your plastic!
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone under the age of 35 who relies on a landline at home. Even office spaces are going without them as they get replaced by smartphones and chat apps.
It makes sense that phone companies are scrambling on how to make them relevant – most people just don’t bother with them today. Look out for fewer people relying on landlines as the year goes on. When was the last time you used one?
This is sadly expected to see its demise if not by 2019, then a few years from now. Young people just aren’t putting as much effort into handwriting than previous generations. Today, millennials are proficient in typing, tapping, and choosing the perfect emoji – just not writing long-form content by hand.
We can expect to see cursive handwriting fit comfortably into a time in history. Thankfully, this next slide has some great news about what we will be saying goodbye to next year.
Ok, so the world won’t suddenly see a drop in cigarettes next year, but countless studies are showing we are certainly on our way. In only two generations, the whole perception of smokers has been successfully changed into something dirty, unhealthy, and unwise.
More young people are aware of the health and cost risks associated with smoking cigarettes and are staying away from the little sticks of poison. For now, millennials are enjoying replacements such as vapes and Juul pipes – although we can expect this to reduce, too.
Folding maps briefly evolved into travel books for a short period before transporting into our smartphones. Young people won’t be rushing to pick up any folding maps in the near future due to their reliance on technology.
Let’s be honest: GPS is a lot more convenient and accessible, and can even offer you live traffic updates! Sorry folks, but no one is going to miss these large wastes of space. Just look at your latest phone update and see for yourself!
Apple’s iPod series was huge in the early 2000s, revolutionizing how people carried and listened to music. When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, people now had a combined device that merged the convenience of iPods and telephones.
Over the next 10 years, smartphones would evolve into devices that could store thousands of songs. In fact, there’s nothing an iPod can do that an iPhone can’t, so what’s the point in having both? Expect 2019 to see a massive drop in iPod sales. Apple has already retired some of its models and isn’t releasing new ones either.
This is a strange one that doesn’t imply what you think it does. At first, you might think that young people aren’t investing in napkins for some environmentally-pious reason. The truth is both more simple and more complicated than that.
According to The Washington Post: “paper towels are more functional than napkins and can be used for more purposes. And the Post noted that millennials are more likely to eat meals out of the home, contributing to the decline.” Say goodbye to the napkin industry in 2019!
When Apple removed the disc drive from their computers, there was nationwide outrage. Those of us who had spent 15 years collecting hundreds of DVDs felt personally attacked – how would we watch our films? It turns out, recent years have successfully seen a shift to digital streaming and downloads, making DVDs almost obsolete.
And with BluRay still going strong for home cinema services, what do we expect for the poor DVD? We can guess they’ll sit collecting dust alongside their ancestor, the VHS.
Social media crept into our lives over a few years when no one was really paying attention. 2018 shed a light on some of the questionable acts that were taken by large tech companies who collected our data without explicit permission.
If you add that to young people’s desire to be seen and broadcast, it’s safe to say we will be saying goodbye to our privacy in 2019. Next year will see the repercussions of our actions and how we can address some of these issues going forward.
Following the same line as plastic straws, politicians and private institutions have started rewarding customers who save their takeaway cups or who reuse cups. You can already buy a solid cup at existing stores that encourage frequent coffee shop users to keep a cup and save on plastic.
2019 can expect to see more people and places taking on this lifestyle change as people become more aware of the environmental drawbacks. This next item could shatter billions off the world economy…
The Hotel Industry
Young people have quickly traded hotel stays for Airbnb visits. With lower costs and fewer amenities, millennials have fundamentally altered the ways in which cities and large towns operate.
According to Forbes: “the 10 cities with the largest Airbnb market share in the US, the entry of Airbnb resulted in 1.3 percent fewer hotel nights booked and a 1.5 percent loss in hotel revenue.” Expect to see more shifts in how people are choosing to travel and watch the hotel industry scramble to find an audience.
9-5 jobs are so passe. Nowadays, companies attract young and educated talent with gadgets and perks that never existed just a few years ago. Today, offices are more flexible with office hours and contact time.
In a world where more people can work remotely and we never leave our devices, the 9-5 format will see a decrease. Companies need to adjust their
Ask any young person when they plan on buying a house and they will start laughing until they burst into tears. Due to rising costs in education and crippling debt, people are waiting longer to settle down and start families.
This won’t just affect the housing industry – when young people choose to rent their homes, they will also place less emphasis on investing in home-improvement stores like Home Depot. As Forbes notes, “Millennials are redefining the American family.”
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – unfortunately, young people simply consider it Fake News. Shockingly, 40% of millennials describe cereal as an inconvenient breakfast choice because they have to clean it up each time.
Today, more people are opting to eat a readymade meal on the go instead. This has resulted in a 5% drop in sales between 2009 and 2014. It might not go bust in the next year, but it appears that cereal is on its way out.
Young people are not getting into the swing of golf, resulting in a decline across the industry. The biggest problem faced by golfers around the world is that its aging generation is retiring from the sport with fewer people picking it up.
Today, golf is seen as an elite and expensive sport that takes up too much time – a whole four hours! Millennials would rather spend their time on quicker and more accessible sports, like Pokemon GO or yoga at home.
Just because young people aren’t buying bars of soap anymore, it doesn’t mean 2019 will be any smellier than 2018. According to Mintel, they saw sales in bars of soap drop while the rest of the shower-and-bath category grew more popular, such as gels from bottles.
According to a press release, they deduced: “Almost half (48%) of all US consumers believe bar soaps are covered in germs after use, a feeling that is particularly strong among consumers aged 18-24 (60%), as opposed to just 31% of older consumers aged 65-plus.”
Young people aren’t eating in chains as much as previous generations, resulting in massive losses for companies like Applebee’s and Ruby Tuesdays. According to Sally Smith, Buffalo Wild Wings’ CEO: “Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants.”
In August, Applebees announced it was closing 135 restaurants. Expect 2019 to see the decline in more chains as food and eating habits continue to change.
Not only has The Oscars faced a steady decline in viewership in recent years, but now its own Hollywood talent is opting to stay away from the ceremony. The Hollywood Reporter recently described the Oscar Host as ‘the least-wanted job in Hollywood’ due to the difficult position it has put itself in.
Hosts have to be politically relevant but agreeable; funny but not insensitive. Kevin Hart recently withdrew from the gig after nine-year-old tweets of his edgy material resurfaced. With two months to go, the Academy has yet to find a host to present the declining show.
2019 faces a culture battle that seems determined to promote the voices of some while suppressing the voices of others. The thin line of ‘free speech’ and ‘hate speech’ on college campuses is being exploited to protect those who demand safe spaces.
Conservative voices are being silenced on social media and many people are demanding that everyone sing the same tune or risk getting fired/boycotted/attacked. Next year will challenge these rights in full force as we see how free speech will either be defended or defeated.
Each year, more shopping centers and malls are closing down. This is because millennials are deciding to shop online through technology powerhouses like Amazon. The result? Department stores and malls aren’t making the money they need.
This has far-reaching consequences that go way beyond just the closing of the mall. The brands will go out of business, people will lose their jobs, and towns will lose their communal location to meet and socialize.
2019 will see more people cut their cords than ever before. With services like Netflix, Hulu, and the upcoming Disney+, households belonging to young people will not focus on implementing cable TV into their homes.
This is because of the sheer quantity of media and content available over the internet. With more young people cutting their cords, media companies will need to reassess how to earn subscribers and keep them wanting more. What services do you use at home?
This isn’t because young people are lazy – far from it! Sadly, younger people are feeling higher levels of loneliness than previous generations. This means that instead of signing up to regular gyms, people are seeking other ways to exercise.
With the use of apps and social media, younger people are meeting up for communal exercise. This puts gyms like Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym at risk of not finding new members to sign up. They better start organizing group activities!
You might think we’re crazy with this one, but the data doesn’t lie. In the last 30 years, per capita consumption of canned tuna has dropped a massive 42%. In fact, there’s been a 4% drop in the last five years alone.
But why is this? Many people are suggesting that younger generations, mainly millennials, won’t eat canned foods and prefer to eat fresh meals. While this health trend can surely have positive effects on our diets, the tuna industry isn’t too happy about it.
Older readers might think this is impossible – but just ask any young person. In the last eight years, sales for liquid fabric softener has dropped 15%. In fact, some studies have even suggested the drop is as high as 26%.
Millennials aren’t exactly rushing to buy more products to help them soften their fabrics. Some are too frugal, others just don’t see the benefit right away. Either way, things are getting rough for clothing and the clothing industry!
There seems to be an inexplicable indifference toward motorcycles from millennials and Gen-Yers. Brands like Harley-Davidson has tried to announce modernized versions of their classic models, but nothing seems to be working.
Younger people are more likely to consider the risks of riding a motorcycle, as well as favor other options like ride-sharing or scooter rentals. It seems that even though the streets will be safer, some companies are in danger. Do you think motorcycles will survive the next generation?
According to the adult entertainment site Pornhub, people between the ages of 18-24 are 19% less likely to search for breasts online. This, as well as the rising #MeToo movement and raised awareness about sexual assault, has made restaurants like Hooters and Twin Peaks less desirable for young people.
It seems like the clientele will keep getting older until it literally dies out. Hooters locations have reduced by 7% in the last six years and the chain has had to focus on delivery services – which is kind of against the whole idea.
Live free or die, man! That’s the approach for young people today who are more than comfortable to let their facial hair grow out. According to CNN, Gillette had to cut their prices by 12% and focus more on beard trimmers than blades that provide a clean cut.
Update: In January 2019, Gillette released a controversial video that insulted men and assumed they were sexual aggressors. The result was a $5 billion loss for the company and an emergency intervention into its business practices.
For those who want some positive news, young people are drinking less alcohol than previous generations. While more people are adopting sober lifestyles, those that do continue to drink are choosing more local and craft beers.
This means that mainstream companies like Coors and Budweiser are feeling the hit the hardest. In the last 10 years, craft beer sales have increased by 500%. Interestingly, while beer consumption has decreased among millennials, overall alcohol consumption has swapped leading to an increase in liquors like whiskey.
Traditional Weddings and Marriage
In recent years, fewer people are getting married and more couples are resorting to divorce. Generally, weddings are becoming more casual and marriages are becoming more secular. Sadly, this can have negative consequences on society as a whole.
Unmarried men and women are generally less happy than their married counterparts, and many studies have shown that children, particularly young boys, benefit from a double-parent household. 2019 is only the start of this: we won’t see how this affects the next generation for another few years yet.
You probably won’t miss this one. After attempting to take on Facebook, Google has finally decided to close the doors to its failed social media network, Google+.
In the next few months, Google will be warning users that they need to download dozens of photos and contact lists they collected before they wipe their servers. It seems like it wasn’t on the cards for Google to win the social media war. They shouldn’t be too concerned, they run basically everything else!
It seemed too good to be true. In 2015, a company came along and offered customers the chance to see one film in the cinema every day for a price of $10 per month. While membership jumped from 12,000 to 3 million in a year, the bubble was destined to burst.
Fast Forward a few years and the company’s stock has plummeted from $1,800 to only 2 cents in value. In fact, Helios is now under investigation for misleading its shareholders. It looks like this company won’t be around much longer. Find out more about the rise and fall of Moviepass here.
While we don’t think Costco will be disappearing any time soon, its demographics demonstrate a few problems coming up for the warehouse company. It turns out that the folks who enjoy buying 100 rolls of paper at a time are older than 40.
If the trend continues, Costco won’t have enough new members over time for it to continue. While we don’t know why younger people aren’t signing up for Costco, it might be since people are starting families at older ages.
Mayonnaise (U.S. only)
Many European readers certainly got a shock with this one! While it’s normal in Europe to eat your chips with a large dollop of mayonnaise, US millennials are choosing another condiment: hot sauce.
According to the Wall Street Journal, mayonnaise sales have dropped almost 7% between 2012 and 2017. It turns out that younger people in America are going for more spicy sauces. According to young people, it’s just too boring nowadays what with the myriad of choice there are available everywhere.
It seems that social etiquettes are going out of the window! Whereas handshakes were once a symbol of respect and good manners, it appears that younger people are swapping them for waves or fistbumps. The Journal of Hand Therapy conducted a study and showed that millennials have considerably weaker shakes than their boomer counterparts.
Why do we think this is? It might be because millennials are spending less time in formal settings, or it might be that they don’t bother with social mores as much. Either way, the handshake is dying out.
Traditional marriage and weddings might be dying down, and the consequences are reaching the honeymoon industry, too. According to the New York Times, fewer people are experiencing honeymoons than previous generations.
This isn’t just because people are marrying later, either. It turns out that even young newlyweds are delaying their honeymoons due to the financial burdens they face from debt. Oh well, if they save enough money they might have some leftover at retirement. Did you go on a honeymoon?
Saying ‘Merry Christmas’
It seems that this has been part of a culture war for many years. Will 2019 be the year it actually vanishes from society? In recent years, we’ve been seeing more and more politicians and companies swap the normal ‘Merry Christmas’ for ‘Happy Holidays’.
While many younger people think this is more inclusive, older people feel like this is pandering to an oversensitive youth. Time will tell just how far this will go, but recent years are showing that Christmastime might be a thing of the past.
Older people might think that ‘cash is king’, but younger people are disagreeing. Recently, we’re seeing more and more transactions take place with debit cards and even money transfer apps like Venmo or Paypal.
2019 will be the first time that the Bank of England will not be producing any more 1 penny coins. This could be a sign of inflation, but it could also point to the fact that younger people simply aren’t using cash the same way previous generations did.
One benefit of fewer marriages is that there’s less chance it will result in divorce. Millennials are being accused of killing relationships, but at least there’s one silver lining in all of this breakdown in society.
According to a peer-reviewed journal from the University of Maryland, US divorce rates dropped by 18% between 2008 and 2016. This trend highlights that while people may be marrying less (or later), the chances of success are growing. Today, marriage is seen as more of an accomplishment than an obligation.
Mark Zuckerburg has monumentally failed in his New Year’s resolution to ‘fix Facebook’ following a controversial 2016 and 2017. In 2018 alone, the tech company saw its first usership decline in its history, a Cambridge Analytica scandal, it was accused of Holocaust Denial, disclosed a multi-million hack, and saw three executives resign.
The last year saw Facebook enter dirty waters that some say it might not be able to recover from. Alternatives are already being adopted and Facebook could see its users unfriend themselves from the service.