Yes, 2017 was a bit of a ride. The American government has devolved into a playground, the Australian government ran a long and expensive campaign to give people the chance to be as openly bigoted as they liked, and I’ve seen more slime videos in the last 12 months than I have seen pictures of my family.
But 2017 does not have to be a complete write-off. I refuse to believe that humanity spent a year on this planet with nothing to show for it. Instead of focusing on what we need to leave behind, here is my personal list of eighteen things that we need to bring with us into 2018.
1) Girl love – there was a huge uprise in women supporting other women this year. Sure, we still need to develop and increase our intersectionality, but overall I am just so glad that we now live in a world where at least 653 cities in the world took part in the Women’s March and the Silence Breakers became Time’s person of the year.
2) Supporting each other in general – The men of #MeToo, Southwest Airlines flew a plane full of puppies to safety after Hurricane Harvey, and Jonathan Smith saved a bunch of people in Las Vegas. There has been a lot of selfishness in the last year, but also a lot of altruism. Let’s keep helping each other, yeah?
3) Unicorn EVERYTHING – I’m loving the pastel vibes!
4) Solarpunk – Remember that word I learned? Yeah, let’s keep some of that optimism in the back pocket moving forward. We’re going to need all the optimism we can get.
5) SkinGun that sprays burn victims with their own stem cells – We’re entering a golden age of biohacking and the immediate, incredible benefit to people is awesome!
6) The percentage of people living in poverty is the lowest it’s ever been – YAY!
7) Personal empowerment – Since people in authority have kind of proven that they don’t often have the best interests of the public at heart, people are beginning to rely on themselves. Crowd funding campaigns, supporting new entrepreneurs, and subscriptions to independent artists, has never been easier.
9) AI is making things easier (and cooler) – The future is now, people!
10) Increasing awareness of LGBTQ+ issues – Thanks to some top-down nonsense, people are more aware now of the different struggles that LGBTQ+ people face, and seem to be more willing to help. Let’s keep that up!
11) Content creators listening to their fans – My favourite podcast, The Adventure Zone (by the McElroy family), ended its first run and I was LIVING for the conclusion. Not only did the good, good DMing from Griffin make it a fantastic, heartwarming finale, but the show demonstrated that it is possible for content creators to listen to their fans without being salty about it, and make something better as a result!
12) Awareness of global issues – Thanks to social media. People are more connected, more engaged, and more aware of what’s going on. Also, we have Google. There is no excuse to be ignorant. None at all.
13) Awareness of the necessity of self-care – Because there was so much bad in the world, people learned to be good to themselves. This is an excellent life skill and one that we absolutely shouldn’t forget about in the future.
14) Female superheroes – I need more of this. Please and thank you.
15) Honest consumerism – Review spaces might seem to act like a place for people to be dickbags, but it’s imperative that we know what we’re buying.
18) Nostalgia – Like I said, Stranger Things and IT brought back the eighties, and it seems like we’re heading more in that direction of nostaglia – particularly nostalgia for the nineties thanks to the Hey Arnold! movie and other good stuff that only nineties kids will remember. It’s not really healthy to dream of the past and hold it up as a ‘better’ time (because the eighties wasn’t ‘better’ for anyone who wasn’t white, straight, and male). But it is nice that we can take some of the good stuff, like the aesthetics, and bring it forward.