From Cool to Catastrophic: 18 Popular Trends with Questionable Long-Term Effects

Trends come and go with increasing speed in the information age that we live in, and while many of these trends are harmless and often entertaining, there are some that carry the potential to negatively impact a person’s future. Here are some of the most popular trends that could easily ruin a person’s future.

Sharing Your Entire Life on Social Media

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The trend of documenting every aspect of your life on social media platforms can be a double-edged sword. While it may offer a sense of connection and validation, oversharing personal information can lead to privacy violations and potentially damage a person’s reputation.

What’s more, employers often review candidates’ social media profiles, and indiscreet posts can make or break your chances of landing that dream job. Oversharing can also make individuals targets for cyberbullying or identity theft.

Needing an Audience for Everything You Do and Say

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The need to seek an audience for every action or thought is a trend fueled by the ‘like’ and ‘share’ culture of social media. This need for constant validation can create an unhealthy dependency on the approval of people you don’t know in real life. It can also lead to a performative lifestyle where individuals prioritize the approval of their audience over their own values and well-being, potentially leading to stress, anxiety, and a loss of personal identity.

AI Image Generation

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The advent of AI image generation technology has brought about a new form of digital manipulation. It is now possible to create convincingly altered images or scenarios that can tarnish someone’s reputation. This technology can be used maliciously to generate photos as proof of infidelity, or other, much worse situations aimed to damage personal relationships and careers. It’s often also very difficult to disprove such images created by AI.

Posting Everything About Your Kids Online

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The trend of ‘sharenting,’ or parents sharing extensive details about their children’s lives online, can have serious implications. Some parents share their child’s full name, date of birth, school, and other personal information online without mal intent, however, by doing so, parents may inadvertently expose their children to identity theft, digital kidnapping (where images are used by strangers in inappropriate ways), or even real-life stalking. The digital footprint created can also embarrass the child later in life or affect their future employment and personal relationships.

Posting on LinkedIn Like It Is Facebook

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LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, and treating it like a personal social media site, like Facebook or even Instagram, can harm one’s professional image. Sharing personal anecdotes, casual photos, or controversial opinions can be off-putting to potential employers or professional contacts. It’s important to maintain a level of professionalism on LinkedIn to ensure that your professional digital presence aligns with your career aspirations.

Unrealistic Beauty Standards On Social Media

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Social media trends that promote unrealistic beauty standards can significantly impact people’s mental health and self-esteem. Many feel the pressure to conform to these standards, and decide to undergo unnecessary cosmetic surgeries or adopt unhealthy lifestyle changes. Constantly seeing such unrealistic beauty standards online can also lead to long-term psychological issues, such as depression or anxiety.


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Doxing, the act of publicly revealing private information about an individual without their consent, is a harmful trend that can have serious legal and emotional repercussions. Victims of doxing may face harassment, identity theft, and personal danger. As awareness of privacy rights increases, it’s likely that stringent laws will be enacted to combat doxing, and those found guilty of engaging in it could face significant legal consequences.

Questionable Social Media Platforms and Professional Consequences

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Platforms like OnlyFans have provided a way for individuals to monetize content, but they can also lead to professional ramifications. One person on Reddit shared their experience: “I knew of a mutual acquaintance that did OF while working as a law clerk. She was doing it to pay her way through law school. Her job found out, and they fired her. Three law schools in LA already denied her. She’s trying to apply out of state, but further east you go, the more conservative the states get.”

Engaging in activities that are deemed unprofessional or incompatible with certain career paths can close doors and limit future opportunities, especially in professions with strict ethical standards.

Face Tattoos

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Face tattoos, once a rarity and often associated with certain subcultures, have become more popular. However, they can still be seen as taboo in many professional environments and can significantly limit employment opportunities. Many call these tattoos “job stoppers,” as they can make it difficult to find work in sectors that value a conservative appearance. This can potentially impact a person’s career trajectory and future earning potential and can even lead to social stigmatization.

Indiscreet Social Media Posts

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Posting every thought on social media without considering the consequences has become a common practice. However, this lack of filter can lead to saying something offensive, controversial, or overly personal that could haunt an individual in the future. Employers and educational institutions often review social media profiles, and a single thoughtless post can lead to significant repercussions, such as job termination or rescinded offers of admission. It’s crucial to remember that once something is posted online, it’s difficult to take back, and it can spread far beyond the intended audience.

Giving Your Child an Unconventional Name

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Choosing a unique name for a child is a personal decision, but some names can cross the line into being burdensome. A name like “Baby” could subject a child to ridicule and bullying, which can have lasting effects on their self-esteem and social interactions. It’s important for parents to consider the potential impact of their naming choices on their child’s future well-being and opportunities.

YouTuber Journalism and Misinformation

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The rise of ‘YouTuber journalism’ has led to the spread of opinion-based content that is often mistaken for factual reporting. This trend is concerning because viewers may accept the information presented by these YouTubers as truth without verifying the facts, leading to a misinformed public. The repercussions of this can be widespread, influencing opinions, votes, and behaviors based on false or biased information.

Aesthetic-Driven Parenting

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Many millennial parents and even some Gen Z parents love curating their children’s environments to fit a specific aesthetic, namely the ‘sad beige’ trend. While this may be aesthetically pleasing to the parents, it can overlook the developmental needs of children. Young children benefit from bright, stimulating colors for proper development. Prioritizing an Instagram aesthetic over a child’s developmental needs can be detrimental, and may impact their cognitive and emotional growth.

Vaping and Long-Term Health Risks

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Vaping has become a popular alternative to smoking, especially among the youth. However, the long-term health effects are not yet fully understood. There is growing concern that vaping could be linked to various health issues, including respiratory problems and potentially cancer, as research continues to emerge. Because it’s a relatively new trend, we may not see the full scope of its consequences for years to come, and those who vape now might face serious health challenges down the line.

Social Media Footprint of Illegal Activities

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Filming and sharing illegal or morally questionable activities can have a delayed fuse, with repercussions surfacing years later. Employers often conduct thorough background checks, including social media history, and finding such content can lead to termination or hinder future employment opportunities. Acts deemed “unbecoming of a company employee” can tarnish one’s reputation permanently.

Educational Reliance on TikTok

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Getting news and education from platforms like TikTok can be risky due to the potential for misinformation and oversimplification of complex topics. This trend can lead to a poorly informed public, as the bite-sized content may lack depth and accuracy.

Premature Cosmetic Procedures

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The trend of undergoing cosmetic procedures such as buccal fat removal and Brazilian butt lifts at a young age can have long-term implications. These procedures can lead to health complications, and many may find that undergoing such procedures make them look worse down the line. Succumbing to the pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards often lead to decisions that many tend to regret in the future.

Blackout Tattoos

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The trend of blackout tattoos, where large areas of the body are inked in solid black, is a bold fashion statement that can limit future job prospects and social interactions. These tattoos are difficult, if not impossible, to remove and can lead to a lifetime of judgment and potential regret. As with any permanent body modification, it’s essential to consider the long-term effects on one’s personal and professional life before making such a commitment.

More From Arnie Nicola: 18 Trends That People Absolutely Despise in 2024

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In the ever-evolving landscape of modern culture, trends emerge and dissipate with increasing speed, often propelled by the relentless churn of social media and the digital revolution. While some trends capture the zeitgeist and earn widespread acclaim, others provoke a strong counter-reaction, sparking debates and even outright disdain.

18 Trends That People Absolutely Despise in 2024

More From Arnie Nicola: 8 Millennial Trends That Gen Z Vows Never To Copy

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As the younger generation, Gen Z often looks to millennials for inspiration and guidance. However, there are certain trends and behaviors that millennials have adopted that Gen Z is unlikely to follow. In this listicle, we explore seven millennial trends that Gen Z will definitely not copy.

8 Millennial Trends That Gen Z Vows Never To Copy

Source: Reddit

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