2016 has been an… interesting one to say the least, filled with scandals, political upsets, celebrity meltdowns and extreme natural disasters. Did it suck for you? Probably. It’s part of the reason why those memes comparing us at the beginning of the year vs the end of the year ring so true - we’re all ready to forget everything about this year and ring in 2017. But bad news, folks: According to the conspiracy internet, which has already decoded Nostradamus passages detailing the horrors of next year, 2017 won’t be the year of rainbows and unicorns. Sorry.
In fact, judging by the early predictions from psychics and data, next year is going to be kind of depressing filled with more celebrity deaths and divorces and financial slumps and security breaches. Throughout 2016, celebrities, Yahoo, LinkedIN and the Democratic National Committee have been the victims of hacking, and according to tech execs security breaches are going to be an even bigger issue in the new year, and not just for high profile people. But what else lies in 2017? Global warming? Crazy advances in tech? More Kanye and Trump photos? Naturally at this time of year, the internet is swarming with predictions from analytics, psychics and Nostradamus fanatics who’ve decoded his cryptic passages about the future. Brace yourselves, these are a few of the most depressing predictions based on what’s going down in 2017.
15 Absolutely Zero Privacy
Despite the court ruling that the NSA's mass collection of phone metadata of Americans is illegal, we see more and more headlines reporting on the new apps and tools being employed to further monitor the public by spying on our social media platforms. Earlier in the year, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram severed ties with Snaptrends and Geofeedia, two social media surveillance companies called out for marketing themselves as a one stop shop for all social media monitoring. That isn’t entirely illegal, but the sales team got into trouble for highlighting its usefulness as a tracking tool for Black Lives Matter, and Keystone Pipeline activists. On the flip-side there's a new rise in online terror forcing cyber security to crack down. Takedowns of water systems, traffic lights and other damage that can disrupt everyday life are being predicted, which means... bye privacy. With an increase in national security thanks to Russia’s unprecedented hacking into the election, mobile industry insiders say that monitoring apps will expand in 2017. It’s said that monitoring apps that can surveillance homes businesses, social media and internet activity will spike in the new year.
14 More Internet Shut Downs
It was a dark day for the Internet in October when a number of sites including Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Paypal, Reddit and Spotify were knocked off-line thanks to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack on Dyn, a News Hampshire based company that hosts a range of popular platforms (ironically enough, the massive hijack occurred on the same day Black Mirror was available for streaming on Netflix). The hackers successfully shut down your plans to 'Netflix and Chill' by flooding servers with fake requests for information, and blocking the real ones. According to industry insiders, it's unclear who orchestrated the attack and since they've had all this time to get their hacking game on 100, they're most likely planning to shut down larger platforms across the internet, causing widespread disruption. If the internet is dead, how do I Tweet about Netflix being down?
13 A War Caused By Global Warming
President-elect Donald Trump's stance on climate change (FYI: he doesn't believe it's real) has sent Nostradamus fans into meltdown mode because his stance, which is basically America's stance, is leading us into one of the scariest Nostradamus predictions of all time. In the philosophers predictions for 2017, he suggested that a massive, worldwide conflict over global warming will ultimately result in a war, or a "Hot War," according the seer. As Nostradamus sees it, tension will rise as we continue to eat up the Earth's resources instead of turning to environment-friendly initiatives. The most terrifying part of the prediction is the idea that the conflict will spark a biological warfare once a nation reaches its boiling point. Trump's refusal to believe in climate change naturally doesn't sit well with the countries invested in the fight against global warming. If Nostradamus is right, then America's stance on climate change can spark major conflicts.
12 The End of Pizza?!
Pizza has been #trending hardcore this year. There was the rise of the pizza rat, the NYC rat caught on Instagram carrying a slice around the subway. Then Dominos blessed us with the option to order a pie by simply Tweeting them the pizza emoji. But according to healthcare insiders, the pizza craze is dying out. According to health care insiders, Americans will begin cutting out carbs (even more than cholesterol!) in favor of a more energetic lifestyle. Sounds crazy?! It shouldn’t. We’ve seen the rise of the paleo eating, a diet that’s similar to the no-carb South Beach and Atkins diet. Healthy eating gurus are sharing their eating and workout routines sparking a new fitness craze that’s taken over Snapchat and Instagram.
11 Vine Is Never Coming Back
People where mourning the loss of Vine in October when the app by Twitter announced it planned to shut down. Well it's back... but not really. Vine announced a new scaled down version of the video app that will allow users to capture six second videos directly to Twitter. Sure, it's a compromise but we're still no longer going to be able to get the 6 1/2 or even 15 second clips pro-Viners were able to upload. There's also the fact that Vine was once its own app, and after viewing one video, users had the opportunity to scan more videos. Fans were hoping that with enough noise, Twitter would bring back the app. But nope! With the switch, the Vine clips will live on Twitter, it'll be just another video in a cluttered newsfeed... so basically Twitter killed Vine. RIP.
10 Censored News
It's no secret that fake news has become a serious issue... #PizzaGate anyone? But thanks to the trolls, we've reached a new height in satirical news people believe, forcing Facebook to employ outside fact-checking companies to help sort out what's real and what's not. Sounds like a way to end the problem, but it's not all good simply because Facebook has long been regarded as a place where people can freely post and flex their First Amendment right. As more and more people gain access to publishing pages, and the power to essentially share anything, Facebook's must now put aside ethical standards in order to maintain the status as the most powerful platform.
9 No Trips To Italy
Since the election, Americans have been worried about the future state of the economy. Will Trump bring in all the money as he promised, or bankrupt the state? It's unclear, but remember the Greece financial collapse? When Nostradamus looked into the future he saw that unemployment and loans in Italy will make it the "epicenter" of the EU financial crisis. It said to be even more catastrophic than Greece and Spain - so cancel that trip to Sardinia or get there before 2017. According to the seer, the Italian banking system is in a crisis, but the failure of these banks is only the beginning of a banking crash. With Italy's debt and outstanding loans mounting, reviving the economy will take lots of sacrifices for the entire EU.
8 Free Music Streaming Is Dead
With artists like Frank Ocean releasing their music directly to paid streaming platforms, it's clear that the only way to listen to new albums is by shelling out cash for a subscription fee. That's a trend that's never going to end, and next year we'll see more major companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google/YouTube acquiring free ad-based streaming platforms like indie fave, Soundcloud and Spotify. Regardless of the industry backlash, the revenue for streaming is said to reach $1 billion by 2017. It's also likely that Jay Z will sell Tidal to the highest bidder thirsty for Prince's entire discography and live streaming concerts and content from the likes of Nicki Minaj and Beyonce.
7 Ransomware Goes Viral
Hacking gets even more intense in 2017 with cyber criminals turning to ransomware in order to rack in your cash. Here's how it will work: hackers will access data through fake websites and apps, and then do a deep dive investigation into their victims digging for embarrassing secret personal information. After getting their hands on digital information the hackers will force people to pay up... or they leak the info. Ransomeware may not be a threat to people who live very open and transparent lives, but there's always the chance these hackers can insert fake information that will force innocent people to cough up bitcoins, and profit from illegally sharing locations, private photos and more. Scary.
6 We'll Livestream Anything and Everything
We really like to share everything that we’re doing, exactly when we’re doing it. This year, live streaming platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live quickly became a tool not just for sharing parties and celebrity encounters, but also dark situations, like the death of Philando Castile, and most recently the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey at an Ankara art gallery. If 2016 was the year of oversharing on every single platform, next year we’ll begin to see ourselves turn our lives into the real life Truman Show. Instagram is the latest to get onboard, with a new feature for users to go “live” to their followers. This kind of sucks because most of the time, if it’s not out of necessity - livestreaming is pretty annoying. But the hype around livestreaming boils down to two things; people love to be the whistleblower and of course, everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame and livestreaming gives that to users hunting for more than likes.
5 More YouTube Pranksters
It's April Fools' Day 24/7 for the likes of Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, Dennis Roady and Adam Selah, all who have launched high profile projects based on their talents in being the worst, I mean, pranking unsuspecting people. What makes pranksters especially terrible? Essentially, they're getting away with lying to us in order to cash in on clicks. We fall for their outrageous stunts - like finding a dead body in a suitcase, or being the victim of a kidnap robbery, only for them to reveal at the end of the video that, gotcha, the whole thing is fake. Just this year, Jason Ethier aka Jay Station, 26, was charged with trespassing after he filmed himself sneaking into homes and businesses and spending the night. Now that more digital platforms streaming original content, look out for pranksters to bring their talents to the small screen. If they can break the internet.
4 Fake People Buying Things Under Your Name
We get ourselves into enough debt, do we really need some random helping us further dig our bank accounts deeper into the hole? According to tech insiders, brands and ads are creating tracking technology that will enable fraudsters to create copycats of fake apps where they can get our card information and then go one major crazy shopping sprees. Another fear is that these scammers will gain access to app logins and make purchases without your authorization. Why the sudden rise in fake purchases? Hackers know how to mimic two-step authentications like CAPTCHA, giving them easy access to all of our passwords, card and tracking information.
3 Expect More Wikileaks Headlines
Now that it's clear hacking will be a common thing in the near future, we should also expect more WikiLeaks-related scandals taking over the headlines. I already know what you're thinking; can anything be worse than the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's Wikileaks dump?! I mean... yes, can you imagine what Kanye emailed Donald Trump? If 2016 was any indication of Julian Assange's power, 2017 will likely be the year of more embarrassing celebrity leaks and dumps including corporate and political documents. Are we going to see the downfall of a celebrity thanks to embarrassing email exchanges or a career-ending scandal? Will the future leaks be as damaging as the DNC's leak? Considering our PEOTUS future links should be interesting to say the least.
2 More Annoying Clickbait Videos
Now that digital streaming has reached an all time high, Facebook is scrambling to get in on the streaming game, which is why you've noticed so many pages releasing new videos. There's the endless versions of how to DIY dinner and dessert, game reviews, and skits that are nothing but clickbait videos. It's no secret that Facebook is jam-packing our feeds with video content, and since we're moving from text to video - viral fake news articles are being replaced with annoying videos with banners that say, "You'll Never Guess What Happens At The End!" Get ready to see a wave of snack-size videos flooding your feed.
1 Yoga Pants Are Out
It's a no brainer why yoga pants have been a fan favorite for men and women all this time - it's comfy and barely there. The trend kicked off when models and celebrities like the Kardashians, Candice Swanepoel and of course yoga pant designer, Kate Hudson started rocking the look outside of the gym. But sorry guys, the beloved yoga pant trend is dying out in favor of denim, according to Google Trends. Search data shows that women are on the hunt for denim and paying for premium denim instead of spandex. Blame it on the weather - it's gotten too cold to wear simply spandex. Not only are jeans on the rise, fewer shoppers are picking up yoga pants in favor of denim.