I want to point out two full-circle trends I’ve notice.
In the 1980s, the boombox was king. Guys would pop in a cassette, hold this giant boombox on their shoulder and walk around town. The idea was to show everyone how cool you were for listening to such unique (probably hip-hop) music. This gave way to a desire to make boomboxes smaller and more portable. Then came the walkman for cassettes and discman for the switch to CDs. People began to be unashamed to listen to something they might otherwise not want to flaunt in public. If you were, say, Andre Agassi, and you wanted to jam out to Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, and Kenny G, who would know? It was you and the headphones. This, I believe led to a huge proliferation of new genres. Eventually, we came to the mp3 player and then people could touch on every genre they loved….but they weren’t able to share the unique indy rock band they loved because it was just them and the headphones. Then came social media, and voila. Full circle. Everyone has some unique band they love, and suddenly they can share it everywhere. This is not to mention mobile speakers that allow annoying 14 year olds on the bus to jam out to whatever they think is cool at the expense of everyone else.
The same type of full circle idea is happening with mobile phone size. When Gordon Gecko made a call it was on a (literal) brick of a telephone. The idea was to make the phone smaller and smaller until we got the famous Derek Zoolander parody of incredibly small phones. Now, however, phones are growing again. I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note and the size is *enormous*. The so-called “phablet” might be a step toward a future when people are less willing to buy a phone and a tablet. So now we’re back to the Gordon Gecko sized phones. Full circle.