By Chloe Schaeffer ’21
Now that 2018 has begun, students, faculty and their families have turned the page for a fresh start. New Year’s always comes with a round of tentative resolutions, often to be abandoned after only a few weeks.
We are all given a new opportunity to make the best of these next 365 days. While some felt that 2017 was a year where goals were met, friends were made and the world was left an overall better place, others felt disappointed with the way the year passed and the impact that they had.
In 2017, we saw the release of ground-breaking technology, controversial elections and empowerment for women in the entertainment industry. Here is a look back on 2017, as we move forward to a New Year!
The face of technology had a dramatic shift this year with the release of the iPhone X, iPhone 8, Nintendo Switch and voice controlled speakers such as the Amazon Echo/Echo Dot and Google Home. There were also setbacks in the progression of our technology-dependant world. The Bitcoin security breach and other hacking disasters continued to pop up in the news. Many passwords, as well as confidential personal information, were obtained by hackers. Snapchat and Instagram were still two of the most popular social media apps of the year, though the app TBH had a brief period of popularity in September and October. Once the plan was released by the FCC to repeal the Net Neutrality Bill, the internet flooded with protests and warnings. However, the outrage that was caused by the FCC’s final vote on Dec. 14 dissipated shortly thereafter as citizens realized that there was no immediate change to their daily internet use.
One of the most impactful events leading into the year was the election of Donald J. Trump (GOP) as President of the United States. His unanticipated and often aggressive battle with runner-up Hillary Clinton (D) grasped the attention of the world and had the news on the edge of their seat, searching for a scandal any place one could be found. Not only was the election itself an unprecedented display, but it sparked a bi-partisan divide that is still an extremely deep rift. On the week of Jan. 20, President Trump’s inauguration date, protests called Women’s Marches occurred all across the country. There was a large march in Los Angeles, with the protesters advocating for the protection and advancement of women’s rights, as well as against Trump. Even within the GOP, prominent members were taking sides in the campaign that sparked such blow-up. The biggest trending hashtag of the year was #resist, a way for internet users to announce their opposition to Trump’s election. Other large protests also occured this year, namely the kneeling during the national anthem protests and the march in Charlottesville as neo-nazis and white supremacists continue to fight against movements started by organizations like the Black Lives Matter organization. There was also the tragic Las Vegas Shooting on Oct. 1, that left at least 58 dead and called for a conversation about gun regulation. Another major movement that has emerged at the end of this year was the #metoo movement, where actors, actresses, singers and other celebrities like Tyler Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Terry Crews, Ke$ha and Taylor Swift announced that they are victims of sexual assault. Accusations being made against big-shot celebrities in the entertainment industry are being dubbed the “Weinstein Ripple Effect” after one of the first allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein.
Other notable trends that flooded the internet and surged in popularity among teenagers were fidget spinners and slime. Fidget spinners first became popular in April 2017 and they were being sold out of stores all across the country. Slime, a stretchy, gooey substance made of glue and Borax, became an internet sensation almost overnight. Videos of unidentified hands playing with slime on Youtube and Instagram, called “satisfying videos,” as well as Etsy shops selling homemade slime, became increasingly popular. Colorful food, such as rainbow, unicorn, mermaid and charcoal, also took Instagram foodies by storm. In fashion, 2017 saw a lot of distressed or ripped denim and clothing. Popular brands this year were Supreme, Gucci and Brandy Melville. One of the most popular memes of the year was 14 year-old Danielle Bregoli’s interview with Dr. Phil, in which she shouted at the audience what has become a phrase that launched her to fame, “cash me ousside.”
There was also a lot of news and controversy surrounding celebrities in 2017. Beyoncé announced her pregnancy with twins, Rumi and Sir, on Feb. 1 with an iconic and beautiful photoshoot to Instagram. Cardi B, whose popular rap song “Bodak Yellow” led Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, making her the second female rapper to do so, became one of the most popular new artists on the mainstream music scene. On YouTube, brothers Logan and Jake Paul collectively have more than 28 million subscribers who watch their vlogs and videos. This New Year’s Eve, the already controversial Logan Paul posted a YouTube video of himself walking through the Aokigahara “suicide woods” in Japan filming a man who had recently died of suicide, losing him many fans and followers. The death of rock icon Tom Petty on Oct. 2 and other tragic deaths this year broke the hearts of millions of people across the world. On a happier note, Los Angeles-raised actress Meghan Markle became engaged to Britain’s Prince Harry on Nov. 27, and the couple plans to marry in May.
The top songs of the year were “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi/Daddy Yankee/Justin Bieber, “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Unforgettable” by French Montana ft. Swae Lee and “Something Just Like This” by Chainsmokers/Coldplay. The top TV shows were “13 Reasons Why,” “Riverdale,” “Black Mirror,” “This is Us” and “Stranger Things.” Some of the top grossing movies of the year were “It,” “Wonder Woman,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Fate of the Furious” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
This year was scarred by horrifying natural disasters, such as the multiple hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, the fires in Southern California, the floods in South Asia and many others. The solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is the last total solar eclipse until 2024, making it very special. Almost everyone took a few minutes out of their day to be in its eerily magical presence.
In sports, there were multiple faceoffs between rivals, groundbreaking trades and historical wins. Floyd Mayweather won the historic Mayweather vs. McGregor fight. The Golden State Warriors won their fifth NBA Title, after receiving Kevin Durant from the Thunder. The Dodgers made it all the way to the World Series, but lost to the Houston Astros in Game 7. The New England Patriots won the Superbowl for the fifth time, 34-28, beating the Atlanta Falcons, who blew a 28-9 lead.
2017 was a year to remember, good or bad, and we can all look forward to a great