Trending

The word “trending” has gone through an interesting metamorphosis in the social media generation.  Used to be, something was “trending up” or “trending down,” depending on whether one was discussing (respectively) butter or margarine, cauliflower or broccoli rabe.

       Now things are just “trending.”   It is as though the quality of an item or topic is irrelevant; all that matters is that people are talking about it.  It’s the new version of “no publicity is bad publicity,” I guess.

Personally, I make an effort to avoid anything the internet tells me is “trending.”  If everyone is interested, I am immediately less interested.  This is especially true because “everyone” in internet world means people who use “like” as a noun and “friend” as a verb.  My contact with that world is limited, and by deliberate choice.

But in a broader sense, I see no reason to be interested in something simply because “many” or “most” of my neighbors are.  I like determining a topic’s relevance to me personally, and then proceeding accordingly.  The Oscars?  Pass.  The Brangelina breakup?  Pass.

It’s why I mostly ignore the trending topics among the denominations.  Why should I care what new carrot is being dangled for the masses?  I already have the gospel (Romans 1:16).  If most of my neighbors think that’s inadequate, it’s just that much more indication I am avoiding the broad path (Matthew 7:13-14).  And I’m fine with that.