In a post on trends of the last decade, Andy Crouch says informality is one of the biggest:
Men untucked their shirts. Billionaires wore jeans. The most powerful CEO in America was universally known as “Steve.” Indeed, informality was now a sign of privilegeonly low-status workers wore uniforms. And the ubiquity of the camera meant that everyoneincluding celebrities, politicians, business leaders, people who in past decades would have been insulated by privilegewas caught off guard, meaning that status now accrued to those who could be most artfully informal, rather than those who could protect themselves from view.
Most institutions, with layers of tradition and deference accumulated over years, struggled to stay relevant to an informal culture. Tie-wearing network news anchors were eclipsed by cable-channel comedians with open collars. Journalistic codes of integrity and objectivity looked simply foolish next to the raw data of The Smoking Gun and Wikileaks. Marriage, with its vows and formal attire, became for many young people a distant aspiration far on the horizon, while cohabitation became the accepted gateway to adult relationships. A crippling blow was dealt to the cultural legitimacy of the oldest institution of all, the Roman Catholic Church, not by sexual abuse per se (almost all the cases reported had happened at least a decade earlier) but by the realization of how its hierarchy had covered up the scandal.
And the oughts saw the rise of blogs, of course.
(Hat tip Matthew Lee Anderson.)
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