Vevo; Disney/Lucasfilm; Getty Images
Is it New Year's Day yet?
Because we're hoping, without putting too many eggs in the optimism basket, that certain trends, phrases and bouts of hysteria that were unavoidable this past year will just vanish in a poof of confetti when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.
As we weeded out what is truly expendable, we didn't want to focus on any one person (you know who you are), but rather focus mainly on what needs to be stopped in its tracks. And if we have to throw ourselves in front of the lame-train to do so, then so be it.
Not everything on our list necessarily came into being in 2015, but most of it reached peak annoyance over the past 12 months, the flames usually fanned by social media and our increasing tendency to communicate by exclamation point and hashtag.
So, while trying not to think about what's actually going away, such as One Direction, here is our wish list of what should go away forever in 2016:
#SquadGoals: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for this little nugget, the inherent goodness in the sentiment ultimately crowded out by how trite it became in 2015. It took a good six months or so for the hashtag not created by but certainly inspired by Taylor Swift's picturesque posse to really wear out its welcome, peaking in our eyes at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. We wouldn't go so far as to say squads in general, and Taylor's in particular, have fascist undertones—but the habit of tacking "-goals" onto photos of things or people, either in envy or in self-congratulatory recognition of hipness, has run its course.
Body Shaming: Seems rather obvious, but the scourge only seems to be getting worse. You don't have to feel a kinship with every model or celebrity, and you're perfectly free to stay inside if you don't feel like mixing it up with fellow humans out in the world, but basic decency dictates that we not make a person's weight/shape/curvature/skinniness/eating habits the subject of scrutiny, ridicule, judgment and all the other sickening commentary that has been clogging up social media lately. "Shaming" for no real reason in general is a rather medieval, days-of-the-stock kind of concept anyway, don't you think?
Two-Thirds of the Presidential Field: At least we know this one's actually going to come true, but the moment can't come soon enough when you don't need to go into panoramic mode to capture all of the candidates during a GOP primary debate. The idea of one person from one party debating just one person from the other seems fantastical right now...but it'll happen.
On Fleek: And other things that don't mean anything. For the record, the world was not in need of a pithy combination of fly and sleek. Highly unnecessary. It's not news that social media has become the jumping-off point for a host of mashups and hashstags that people are trying to make happen. Some catch on, some don't, but mostly what we've been left with is words robbed of their meaning when smushed together, shortened or hashtagged: Two people being "#relationshipgoals." #FoodPorn. #FreeBieber (or #Free-anybody the way this is used, for that matter). Shipping. Having no chill. Bae.
The Struggle Is Real: Yes! The struggle is most definitely real for some people, just probably not the ones using it to describe their quest to secure Adele tickets, the girl trying to coax some body out of her flattened bedhead or the guy who's tired on Monday morning. Jury's still out on whether the struggle is real for this little guy here...
Fake Feuds to Sell Things: Give us an epic Twitter back-and-forth any day of the week (well, minus the weekend), spurred on by a real slight, a perceived slight, your man's ex's Instagram pic, on thing a celebrity you've never met said about you in an interview, whatever. But to the people who brought you 1D vs. Justin Bieber for all the bragging rights when the respective heartthrobs had albums dropping on the same day...
Netflix and Chill: There is most certainly nothing wrong with watching Netflix and chilling. And there's really also nothing wrong with getting down while Netflix happens to still be on in the background. But put those together in the way that the completely unnecessary phrase is intended and... well, that just doesn't make sense, now does it?
Reliance on Emojis: Our mom discovered emojis and proceeded to use 23 different ones during the course of one short text exchange. The tears-of-joy face may have inexplicably been the Oxford English Dictionary's (et tu, academia) word of the year, but can we now come together as one world and go back to barely communicating with just words again?
TV That's Disgusting Just to Be Shocking: We're still watching American Horror Story: Hotel because there's Matt Bomer dancing and plot threads that we want to see untangled. But we've talked to multiple people who were done with the show after the season premiere because of the...well, if you watched it, you know. Why did that happen, exactly? And why did it have to be so graphic? Maybe we get a little less whip-it-out-just-to-whip-it-out in 2016.
The Outrage Factory: Why is everybody so angry all the time? Things were bad enough when the sense of how happy and #blessed people were was unrealistically inflated by social media, but now the easy flow of information has provided an outlet to object to everything. And worse yet, people are baiting your outrage on purpose. Slate heralded the demise of outrage-for-outrage's sake in March, but...funny how these things work...
Let's just say, the practice of goading people into a reaction hasn't exactly gone away yet. Will it be possible to rise above and not bite as much in 2016?
Star Wars Hype: Kidding!
Sort of. It was exciting while it lasted and at least it resulted in a great movie. But we're also perfectly happy to take a year off before Hypefest 2017: Forced to Awaken.