Reader, you already know that 2018 is coming to a close. I hope your year has been wonderful, despite the world’s current turmoil. I’ve noticed a lot of cultural cues that surface at the end of every year.
The obvious ones are the holidays, like New Years, Hanukkah, or Christmas. But there are other cultural cues, some more recently created.
Take for example, YouTube Rewind. YouTube Rewind is a video produced and released by YouTube at the end of each year, a tradition started in 2010. The video features the top viral trends and pop songs from the year as well as some of the past year’s prominent YouTubers. Each year, the production value of the video has gotten higher, and the number of YouTubers featured has increased across all genres, ranging from gamers to vloggers to mukbang experts to beauty. Controversy surrounding the YouTubers included — and excluded — has grown through the years, but it still is the major way that the YouTube community acknowledges the year’s end.
Another new end-of-the-year cue comes from Spotify. Spotify Rewind is when Spotify users get a ranked playlist in the beginning of December with their top 100 most played songs over the past year. A user can also find out their top artists and genres from the year. Music is strongly tied to memory, so revisiting your most-played music offers an effective summary of the year.
But there are also some older end-of-year cultural cues To start, there are often a multitude of trailers for movies coming out the next year. This year, trailers came out for “Captain Marvel”, the final season of “Game of Thrones”, and the highly anticipated fourth Avengers movie, “Avengers: Endgame”. I was most excited for the Avengers trailer, considering the last film’s conclusion has had the Marvel Cinematic Universe side of my heart in pieces. The trailers are not exclusive to movies — Netflix released a host of trailers for all programming coming in 2019.
The last cultural cue I want to mention is the nomination hype. At the beginning of each year, the public is bombarded with all of the award shows that venerate the previous year’s content. The Grammy and Golden Globe nominations came out around the first full week of December. Oscar nominations will be announced mid-December. The nominations help people remember the movies, TV, and music of the past year and also push them to form their own opinions on the year’s content.
The ending of one year and the beginning of another is a significant event for most people, and our cultural traditions help make this time special. I know, reader, you’re probably stressed out by final exams or papers, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Pretty soon the year will end, and hopefully a fantastic new one will commence. See you all in 2019!