Andy Crouch’s Most Significant Cultural Trends of the Decade

Through a link on PSFK, I found Andy Crouch’s post on Q Blog entitled “The Ten Most Significant Cultural Trends of the Last Decade”.  Right around the turn of any year, you tend to find a lot of lists either recapping the year, drawing large-scale conclusions or making predictions about what is to come.  Most of these lists catch my eye, but then either disappoint or never fully get read due to their hallow or even narrow efforts.  However, as humans, we like lists.  We like to see things ranked, categorized and sorted based on any number of assets, because it gives us a sense of order in an otherwise chaotic and disorganized world.

Andy Crouch put together a rare  and valuable list comprising 10 of the most important, large-scale cultural trends taking place in North America since 2000.  Bravely tackling something so massive, as to scare any individual with a passion for the social sciences away, he rose from the post with something worth more than the time he put into it (which imagine was quite a bit).  Read his entire post here (you won’t regret it) and go on to see my thoughts on his first and most significant trend: Connection, as well as some things he might have missed.

Crouch’s number one trend was Connection, and rightfully so.  Technology has so rapidly accelerated our ability to keep in continuous contact with not only individuals both foreign and known, but also with information.  This trend through, is so significant that it seems to be an immeasurably important factor contributing to each of the other nine trends in this list.  Place, Cities, The Self Shot, Informality all are deeply impacted by the fact that we are constantly connected.

Take Place for example, Crouch discusses the decline in travel in 2010 compared to 2000, and the importance placed on changing jobs to stay in one place – a far cry from the mindset of the boomer generation.  Instantly, we gravitate towards the economy as a factor.  Or the rise of a generation less willing to sacrifice for upward career movement.  But, it’s difficult to argue that connectivity isn’t the larger variable, enabling individuals to accomplish virtually anything from anywhere.  This causes me to wonder, does Connectivity even belong in this list at all?  Or should it be in a category all it’s own.

And what about Sustainability?  Is it too frail and infantile to warrant placement on the list?  Is it still about projecting a certain set of values rather than actually embodying them?  And what about the growing shift from mass-produced goods to local, more culture-centric products that carry with them a stronger set of attributes, stories and backgrounds that we use to help convey our own life story?  Call it the Rise of Local and is it somehow connected to Place?  To me there is something real here.

Regardless, Andy Crouch put together an excellent list that had me and countless other readers wrapped up in thought.

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Comments

  1. Frankly I didn’t entertained the idea in the past. I heard about it, but didn’t actually take the time to do the research. Still it pretty much validates itself from your perspective. It’s not enough for me but it surely qualifies for a thorough investigation.

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