WATCH — What trends to watch for in 2021: We asked a futurist

Alexia Sabau
Story by Alexia Sabau and CBC Kids News • Published 2021-01-15 16:36

Plus, looking back on recent trends like the Renegade and the Cup Song

Whether it’s a funky dance move everyone wants to try or a catchy song that we can’t get out of our heads, each year presents us with a handful of new trends that seem to go viral almost overnight.

You can expect 2021 to be no different.

If you’re one to keep up on all the latest crazes, like resident trend aficionado and CBC Kids News contributor Alexia Sabau, you’re also probably dying to know what the new year will have in store for us.

Jim Carroll, a Canadian futurist whose job it is to predict social changes to the world we live in, knows a thing or two about spotting potential trends before they happen.

“Become an information sponge,” Carroll told Alexia from his home in Toronto.

“[Keep] an open mind and [realize] that the world you’re going to be in in 10 years is not going to look anything like it does today.”

A blast from the past

Looking back over the last decade, it’s easy to remember some of the biggest trends that swept the social media world.

From 2012’s Cup Song (inspired by the film Pitch Perfect) to the ALS ice bucket challenge in the summer of 2014 to last year’s viral Renegade TikTok dance, social media users have flocked to the internet year after year to join the fun.

From left: The Cup Song, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Renegade dance. (Image credit: @itscarolpacheco/Instagram, @predsnhl/Instagram, @charli.and.addi/Instagram)

According to Carroll, many of these trends catch fire simply because of the positive vibes they give us.

After a pandemic-ridden year like 2020, fun memes, dances and conversations on social media might be exactly what we need.

“We’re all trying to cope every day, we’re all trying to get in a headspace that we can survive this,” said Carroll. “So we are drawn to humour and little diversions that help us to get through.”

Check out this Hey Alexia, What’s Trending? video to see what other trends from the past decade made Alexia’s countdown list.

Alexia also shares her predictions for 2021 trends, which include new presidential memes featuring U.S. president-elect Joe Biden.

And have you heard of his charming, masked grandson? Stay tuned!

Let us know what you think will go viral this year at!

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: design by Philip Street/CBC

About the Contributor

Alexia Sabau
Alexia Sabau
CBC Kids News Contributor
Alexia Sabau is an inquisitive teen who likes to keep up with the trends. The Grade 12 student is a youth ambassador with a passion for community building and motivation to make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels. She worked as a junior reporter for the Calgary International Children’s Festival and Shaw TV Calgary. Alexia is also a devoted Harry Potter fan who is excited to work her magic on CBC Kids News.

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