Today in America, much of our lives is defined by popular culture. Traditions and patterns handed down from generations have been influenced by popular culture in society more today than of yesteryear. Trends are changing in regard to convenience, communication, and personal gain. In this essay, I will speak on the trends of social, political, personal, and religious. When I think of social trends, I am reminded of the new technology that exists today. Technology has change the way we communicate forcing us to stay abreast on the latest version and gadgets to remain functioning actively.
Computers and cellular telephones, once accessories, but are necessities today. The Internet is a tool that has changed the way we live when shopping, paying bills, even doing research. Gone are the days of land lines and pay phones. Those gadgets are replaced by cellular phones with text messaging capabilities that allow instant messages to be received faster than voice messaging. Electronic mail, also known as e-mail, whether used personally or in the workplace, has replaced postal bulk mail in some instances. Social networking websites of Twitter, Facebook, My Space, YouTube, and eHarmony are very popular today.
Users of these sites can share a personal profile, make new friends, date online, post a video and daily messages. Also, Fortune 500 companies use the internet to advertise to increase sales and business. A popular trend in politics during the 2008 Presidential Election was voter registration. Many community websites drew subscribers to register to vote. Volunteers across the country supported their candidate of choice to get the message out to vote, by going door to door, holding community rallies, and voter drives. Also, celebrity endorsement in the election became a popular trend.
Many celebrities did television commercials, and group songs in support of their candidate of choice based on their belief of important values. I believe both trends will continue in future elections as they proved to be key factor in winning votes. From the aspect of personal trends in American popular culture, tattoo and body piercing are the happenings. Both genders of young adults including celebrities, athletes, and singers are following this trend of displaying visual art and design on their body. Also, young adults are influenced today with rap and pop music, urban clothing lines, team sportswear, video games, and iPods.
By way of education, online universities are offering classes to earn degrees. This trend is convenient for many working adults with families. While living in the digital age, the digital/video camera is a common personal item that is used to capture memories of special events that is recorded on digital video disc (DVD) to view with family members and friends. Also, movies are now recorded on DVD, while music is recorded on compact disc (CD). Lastly, I will speak on the religious aspect of popular culture in America.
The Scientology and Kabbalah religion are popular among celebrities in Hollywood. In the catholic religion, not much has changed by way of traditions. However, there are reports of priest sexually abusing alter boys, that has resulted in convictions and various lawsuits against the Vatican. This action may be called a trend, but the abuse happened years ago that is now visible on the forefront in today’s society. In other religions, there are trends of many church leaders under scrutiny for using church funds for personal financial gain as they live lavish lifestyles.
Some are also involved in sex scandals, committing adultery and accused of domestic violence. Some trends have spoiled us in becoming impatient for instant gratification, while forgetting the traditions handed down to us. American popular culture is exposed through the mass media every day in areas of social, political, personal, and religious. We are affixed to tuning in to hearing the latest to keep up with the happenings in American society to get us through the day, which is a trend in itself. References Wilson, J. R. , & Wilson, S. R. (2001). Mass Media, Mass Culture, (5e).
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