It’s my very good fortune to know lots and lots of remarkably diverse, interesting, erudite, opinionated, amusing people. My very good fortune, indeed. So, why not share the wealth? I sent out a request and many responded in kind (and if I haven’t hit you up for the favor yet, it doesn’t mean I won’t). Writing isn’t for everyone. Putting thoughts down on paper isn’t for everyone. But for some people, it is and we’re all the better for it. Each month, a new voice will be heard from. Welcome to The Guest Blog.

The Guest Blog

| August 6, 2016

Number 7

In Praise of Fads

by Wendy Hall Tull

Ever since my ill-fated foray into the M.C. Hammer pants craze of 1990, I’ve been suspicious of fads. Trucker hats, Fifty Shades of Grey, Auto-Tune, cronuts … all whizzed past my head like hairspray on a Flock of Seagulls haircut. When yoga became trendy again a few years ago, I stubbornly refused to participate (although at the risk of making this all about pants, I do often rock a pair of lululemons).

Have you ever wondered about the etymology of the word “fad”? It’s kind of an ugly little word. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

fad (n.) 1834, “hobby, pet project” (adjective faddy is from 1824), of uncertain origin. Perhaps shortened from fiddle-faddle. Or perhaps from French fadaise “trifle, nonsense,” which is ultimately from Latin fatuus “stupid.” From 1881 as “fashion, craze,” or as Century Dictionary has it, “trivial fancy adopted and pursued for a time with irrational zeal.”

Is it just me, or does that sound super judgy?

There’s this silly little game called Pokemon Go that is now a bonafide fad. I don’t know much about the game, and thankfully neither do my kids, but I do know that you can’t avoid hearing about it on social media. Seems everyone has an opinion, and they either love it or hate it. Which got me thinking: How and why do some people get caught up in fads, and why do others insist on disparaging them?

After all those years of avoiding fads, I’m starting to feel like I missed out. There’s camaraderie in fads, an inherently social aspect to jumping on a bandwagon. You know that, at least for the short life span of the fad, you’re part of a tribe.

Everyone should have a “thing,” preferably more than one. (Unless your thing is to write nasty comments on the internet about other people’s things, which is truly fatuus.) Use Snapchat filters, buy an adult coloring book, eat Zoodles – find a thing that makes you happy for a while, then move on to another thing when you get bored. That’s the beauty of a fad: It’s a short-lived infatuation, not a life-long commitment.

So back to Pokemon Go. There’s so much vitriol surrounding it, but what’s different, to me at least, is the way people have collectively shrugged off the hate. There’s even a clever little hashtag that came out of this phenomenon, #letpeopleenjoythings. And even though I’m pretty sure hashtags are just a fad, I really, really like that one. Because the way I see it, indulging in some trivial, irrational nonsense might just be the prescription for what ails us.

Wendy Hall Tull is my beautiful, down-to-earth-glamorous, always above the fray, Texas writer-of-choice. She combines sophisticated style and throw back motherhood into one delightful, witty, charming package. Always a pleasure. Too far away!


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