The Daily Gamecock talked to 40 students about what the social world will look like in the coming years. The students surveyed predicted waves of new trends in music, television and social media.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, TikTok grew among audiences. Initially, the platform contained simple videos, but according to the students surveyed, it quickly escalated into something much more — a guide to what's in and what's out. In addition, students surveyed said the app may have an impact on what the future holds.
Thirty-six of the 40 students The Daily Gamecock spoke to mentioned music when speaking on trends, listing a range of genres from retro and folk to pop music.
First-year music education students Harvey Brown and Preston Bishop-Burns both said older music is making a comeback. According to Bishop-Burns, new music will become very "retro" in the coming years, with a lot of artists remaking classic music.
Among the 40 students surveyed, 23 said music appears to be returning to its roots by taking a more nostalgic form. Brown and Bishop-Burns highlighted artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel and Queen when listing what musical styles will be seen in future music.
"I feel like we are going into our 80s era," Brown said.
Alongside new music trends, 18 of the students said certain artists and genres may suffer a decline in popularity in the coming months. Of that group, 10 predict that Taylor Swift may drop off after her current Eras Tour.
Six students also theorized that pop may begin to falter, and hip hop will re-enter the top charts.
"I don't think Meghan Trainor will be out, but I wish Meghan would be out," third-year political science student Sarah Hansen said.
For second-year music education student Alyssa Rend, the genre doesn't have as much of an impact. Instead, she said music has been a bridge between people after COVID-19.
"I don't think it really matters per se. I think live music is going to be popular," Rend said. "Any genre is going to be popular as long as it brings the community together."
Social media has not only influenced the music world, it has infiltrated the television industry as well. Sixtenn students said they have seen some of their favorite TV shows on TikTok at some point.
HBO's "The Last of Us" — based on the Naughty Dog video game of the same name — gained traction as fans discussed the show's weekly-released episodes. However, some USC students predicted that the show's popularity will decline because part two of the game does not represent the original video game as well as they hoped.
Similar to the resurgence of retro music, many students agreed that remakes and spin-offs in film and television should be expected in the coming months. Five out of the 40 students surveyed said recent releases such as "Wednesday" and the debated "Gossip Girl" reboot are both evidence of a trend of appreciating the past.
Four students said some of their favorite shows are book-to-screen adaptations, which they hope to see more of. Third-year journalism student Madelyn Weston said her current favorite is "Shadow and Bone," and she hopes it gains enough popularity to be renewed for a third season.
Among the students surveyed, reality TV shows have also maintained popularity for many years now. Third-year biology student Emily Collins said reality TV will always be in because people often go back and rewatch years later, mentioning examples such as "Dance Moms" and "The Kardashians."
With 40% of USC students interviewed mentioning social media, these platforms are expected to continue to grow and influence pop culture. However, only time will tell if students' predictions will come true.