Tracking trends — as simple as listening?

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Finding the next big thing isn’t easy. If it were, more Americans would be cashing in on the trends. But predicting those trends may be as simple as talking to up-and-coming generations. They can tell you what’s in or out. And, as Business Insider reports, teens are officially over Facebook.

What does that mean for us as journalists interested in engaging a new audience where they feel most at home? It means constantly seeking new outlets for our material — everything is becoming more visual. Teens may be over Facebook, but Instagram and Snapchat are quickly rising in popularity, with YouTube becoming the latest fodder for afternoon and late-night talk shows (like RightThisMinute and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal).

I found most interesting in the Business Insider article that the author examined several different samples of teens to see what the general consensus was, not just interviewing a select few. That way, it shows the greater trend among the group and doesn’t assume what’s popular opinion or not.

Journalists and future leaders shouldn’t just depend on technology to drive their industries. The latest inventions aren’t going to just present themselves to us at opportune times for us to gain traffic and garner success with whatever messages we’re trying to send. Maybe we should be less reliant on the Internet for predicting the future.

Maybe we should be paying attention.