The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Past trends flash forward

The common saying is, “out with the old and in with the new;” however, past trends have resurfaced due to rising popularity on social media platforms such as TikTok

Newer trends are heavily focused on the revival of flip phones and film cameras and there is a shift away from modern technology. According to GlobeNewsWire, the disposable camera market was approximately worth $838.57 million in 2021, and by 2030, it is estimated to grow to $1.234 billion.  

Michael Balzano, Foto Forum employee, claims he has seen an increase in the purchase of film.“Our problem now is that we have a hard time getting film. Oftentimes, our order goes on backorder, so it’s a tough business environment for film,” said Balzano.

Halle Carns, Photography Club president, recognizes this sudden popularity of film to be the work of TikTok users, ages 14-23. TikTok has been responsible for popularizing film cameras as more people on the app have showcased their cameras and the photos they have taken.  

Film and digital camera user and sophomore Maddie Ballecer believes the primary reason for the success of this trend is because as the camera quality on phones improves, people begin looking for something new. 

“The way the photos turn out, the tone is pretty. Either the quality of the photo is worse or better, but that’s the charm of it,” says Ballecer. 

Carns recounts a memory of getting a polaroid camera in seventh grade and being at her grandmother’s house wanting to take a photo with her new dog. 

“I took the photo when I had glasses and braces. I’d never throw away that picture, not only because of the nostalgia, but because we don’t often get to hold a memory,” Carnes says.   

On the downside, Carns recognizes the poor effects film cameras can have on the environment, saying, “It causes an environmental issue because film cameras are mostly made of plastic and metal, which are not biodegradable.”

 “… [The] process to develop film and the chemicals used in the products pollute the environment,” Foto Forum employee Cathy Kuflik continues in an email. “I have been a photographer for the past 40 years and have seen large companies pollute our environment and not clean up after themselves.”

Carns says that this poses an issue, especially since trends are often fleeting and short-lived, which may lead these cameras to sit and collect dust, or be thrown away.  

On a positive note, TikTok has taken the flip phone from decades ago, and has cultivated it into another trend gaining popularity. 

Geoffrey Stricklin, freshman and sophomore theology teacher at Xavier, acknowledges this as an opportunity for people to detach themselves from the bustle and noise of the digital world. Flip phones are used for texting and calling, not necessarily for social media.   

“My first reaction is that switching to flip phones would be a good thing. I think it would force people to be more intentional about when they’re going to sit down and access the Internet. It would free us from attachment and vulnerability. It would also then conversely allow us to spend our free time relating to people face-to-face, solving problems and even getting outside more,” Stricklin says. 

Sophomore Rowan Ostendorf shares similar views saying, “I think people are using flip phones to get away from social media. By doing this, people are eliminating any temptations they may feel to get on social media. When all you can do on a flip phone is text and call, you form closer connections with others.”

Stricklin says that owning a flip phone would make him feel more aware, and says he has often thought about challenging himself by using a flip phone for a period of time. However, he acknowledges the challenges this could cause. 

“In the beginning it would feel inconvenient because you would have to be more intentional about saying ‘Okay, I’m going to sit at my kitchen table and pay bills. Or, I‘m actually going to do research and complete work,’” Stricklin says. 

He adds that it would be inconvenient to be on-the-move and need to send something like an email. “If I were to go to my flip phone to send an email or do something, I wouldn’t be able to do that and it would probably be frustrating.”

Ostendorf explains how impractical it would be to switch to a flip phone today.

“As much as I want to get away from social media and TikTok, I don’t think I would be able to use a flip phone. I communicate with people through Snapchat,” Ostendorf says. 

While some want to follow trends, Carns reminds people that trends don’t stick around forever. 

“There’s so much stuff you can buy nowadays. You can go to a craft store, a Home Goods or Target. There’s so much you can buy, and it’s wasteful. It [so many items] makes it harder for people to find lasting interests,” Carns says.

However, Sticklin recognizes this as an opportunity to do something else. For example, listening to music or having some quiet time can lead to a better understanding of oneself.

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