I’ve been doing a crash Google course in decision-making over the past three days, in the process of which I ran across both the Good Judgement Project and Penelope Trunk’s piece on trendspotting. Setting aside the absurdity of comparing the anecdotes of a deliberately trollish blogger with the measurable statistics of a researcher-led project, both the blog article and the judgement project pointed out that, given access to the same information, some people are better than others at forecasting. It’s unclear why, but my off-hand thought is that forecasting success depends on the same skills that underlie “intuition”: implicit recognition memory and the ability to spot patterns.
In any case, my only real claim to trendspotting bona fides is that I bought a pair of platform flip-flops a few weeks before everyone else in my high school did. That said, here are two random trends that I predict will be big in 2015:
(1) Formula feeding in the upper middle class. Research is increasingly showing that breastfeeding isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be, unless you’re talking about cracked nipples. (Just to be clear, I nursed my daughter for 26 months.) Upper middle class white ladies are urged to lean in, which is generally incompatible with extended breastfeeding unless you’re literally Sheryl Sandburg and can force your employees to meet you at your house. Added to that, evangelical mommy blogs are spending a lot of time talking about breastfeeding. Conclusion: formula feeding will become a way of signaling that we’re all much too busy and important to nurse.
(2) The name Jane. Fancy nineteenth century names have been back in for a while now–Penelope, Eleanor, and Charlotte are all name that we considered for our kid–so naturally normcore names are next. Once Kate Middleton names her kid George, can the world be far behind?