Looking like the steep angles you’d expect to find on a modernist architect’s Pinterest board, the graph of tweet gripes reached ever upward, the steadily-incremental echo of disdain thundering on social media with enough chorus to make one’s bile ducts flutter. Notification alerts pulsed on iPad minis. In the sleek communal office spaces from Cambridge to Brooklyn, a sea of social media mavens in dress hoodies #smh’d at the hypnotically dorky galumphing of the latest New York Times Style Section trend piece.
Away from the fray, late adopters could be overheard invoking The Return of the Club Kids, or The Return of Vinyl, or The Hipsterfication of Brooklyn, the long-neglected, but suddenly ascendant borough of New York City, just across the river from Manhattan, a short subway ride away. Three models from the Netherlands, Italy, and Brazil were off being models somewhere, oblivious to the significance. “We had dinner with Tiesto,” the Dutch model said, name-dropping a famous D.J. from her homeland. No one could hear her speak, because it was Thursday, Style day, or Thurstyle, as its becoming increasingly known from Cambridge to Brooklyn, and also Austin and other top cities around the country. San Francisco, say.
One might expect such predictable in-fighting in Manhattan, the center of the publishing world, and also various other ascendant industries. But this was Brooklyn, probably — or more precisely Twitter, a borough of Brooklyn, a social media platform where the best examples of complaining about how late the Style section is on a trend piece has become itself a sort of jumping off point for meta-trend pieces about trend pieces.
A dozen hours after that one piece on vinyl making a comeback, bemoaning the corniness of the Times is itself mounting a comeback, one thousand tweets a minute at a time.
Twitter has been the crucible for the revival. In addition to that one piece about adults throwing themselves proms, two other trend pieces have raised the hackles of social media’s early trend piece complaint adopters, or TrePiComAdos for short, a piece about people taking the bus from Williamsburg to the Rockaways, and the prevalence of Tumblr, a spirited social media platform favored by avant-garde types and teenage porn addicts.
There were always social media specialists and unemployed recent J-School grads who disdained the trend piece, arguing that a newspaper should report on topics of import, with a depth the speed of the blog could not match, blogs being frequently updated.
But the market, as their friends do, largely ignored them. Nobody reads real news anymore, many publications have made huge cuts in their staff, and also people are really into dance music right now which we didn’t have a chance to point out yet, but this seems as good a spot as any. EDM they call it.
Daft Punk. Arrested Development.
As it turned out, that early resistance was not futile, thanks largely to an audience of idiots, many born after blogs were invented in the 1990s, the pop culture highlights of which people are fond of being reminded of on such sites a FeedBuzz and Vine.com.
A growing number of social media users with predominantly college-age maturity levels have had similar complaints.
Some members of Twitter are taking notice of this trend of outdated trend pieces. One such Twitter user, @fart_doctor69 on Twitter said “Can’t even with this Style piece right now.”
“LOL,” was a common refrain among Mr. _doctor69’s increasingly growing online following.
“They certainly do seem to write about things long after everyone already knows they’re a thing,” said another social media user. “I should probably point that out to people.”
The invasion of copy-cat complaints about copy-cat pieces on copy-cat trends has only begun. The Times Is On It, is a popular Twitter account, which focuses mainly on obviously trumped up trend pieces. There’s even a White House Petition with 5,000 signatures asking President Obama to get involved. They even have their own Facebook page. Models are typically employed in the borough of Manhattan. Publishing is another thriving field here.
“A lot of people were surprised when the New York Times went in this direction, but it’s the future,” said Noah Pippingberg, an owner of a popular Tumblr blog, as well as being friends with various models and DJs and bloggers for popular Tumblrs. “The bitching about media business is cyclical. We’re seeing it come full circle from the last week and every other week for years to now.”
Here are 25 Ridiculous New York Times Trend Pieces.