What to Leave in 2023 and Bring into 2024

Justine Harris
January 2, 2024

Two days into the new year, the reality sinks in—2023 is officially over. Like any other year, it had its highs and lows, and while some remarkable things unfolded, there are things we should probably ditch in 2024.

When we asked ourselves, “What should stay behind in 2023?” several thoughts came to mind, but we narrowed it down to things that relate to what we know — social media — and its dynamic companion — pop culture. Both are intricately part of our lives and occasionally guide our decisions. Whenever a pop culture moment emerges, you can bet social media content is quick to follow, and vice versa. Besides, amidst the whirlwind of a year, it's refreshing to revisit cultural moments and determine that some have overstayed their welcome.

Here’s our list of what gets left behind in 2023:

Leave Behind: Be Real (It is dying, but it was fun while it lasted!)

Instead, in 2024: Photo Dump

Why? BeReal had its time in the spotlight, but let's be honest—the excitement is waning. It's premature to declare it extinct, but users and marketers are shifting gears. While the novelty fades, the essence of sharing genuine, unfiltered, real-life experiences still resonates. Enter Photo Dumps—the art of perfectly imperfect curation through carousel posts capturing life's raw moments. They're not just making a return; they're gearing up to steal the show in 2024.

Leave Behind: End to an Era, Succession

Instead, in 2024: It's time for new Sunday night favorites.

Why? This year marked the end of the hit show Succession and the end of the Roy family era. This series had us glued to our screens every Sunday, reminiscent of the Game of Thrones days. We formed teams to predict who would claim the crown in the end. The memes and parodies fueled our love-hate relationship with this dysfunctional family. But as Succession bids adieu, so must we. So, what's next? Another magnificent series will have to take its place, like The Righteous Gemstones, The White Lotus, Yellowstone, or a classic like Veep; but Succession was a wild ride.

Leave Behind: “Would you believe AI did this?”

Instead, in 2024: Don't be surprised by the magic of AI—get ready to master it.

Why? Being dazzled that AI, especially Generative AI, wrote or created something at this point is like being surprised that some cars can self-park. It's been in the mix for a while, but the key is integrating it as a supportive tool for efficiency, not a substitute for your work. As we master these tools, we must remember the risks. While Generative AI offers countless possibilities, its rapid evolution brings along some cautionary uncertainty that shouldn't be overlooked. And hey, it's not just about serious stuff—it's also fun to use for social trends.

Click the image to watch the TikTok carousel from @isomi.

Leave Behind: Celebrities Getting Hit with Objects

Instead, in 2024:...respectfully...just NO!

Why? In 2023, a strange trend took center stage as concerts and blockbuster premieres made a comeback. Celebrities found themselves dodging objects not aimed at the stage but directly at them. While the lockdown may have rusted our concert etiquette, it's no excuse for turning live performances into a target practice—point blank, it isn't cool. Do we really want our next concert behind plexiglass or as a hologram? Nope. So, let's leave this object-throwing trend in the past.

Leave Behind: X, formally known as Twitter.

Instead, in 2024: Redistribute content anywhere else!

Why? Everyone is dancing around it, but honestly, let's just call it — the new X isn't the old Twitter we once knew. If brands haven't crafted an exit plan for X, they need to prepare their bags now. An audit will likely reveal that their performance on the platform isn't great for their brand or products. So what do you do instead? Redirect the budget to Meta or TikTok. And Elon said it best on how he really feels about us advertising on the platform:

Leave Behind: Hashtag Banks

Instead, in 2024: Learn Social Search Optimization.

Why? In a broader sense, how we explore social platform topics has evolved. Hashtags, especially when excessively used in a caption (think paragraphs of hashtags), appear spam-like and no longer serve as the go-to tool for effective discovery. We're not saying hashtags are out; they still have their place. However, as social search evolves, they don't quite bring the same engagement. Social Search Optimization will hone in on meaningful tags and keywords for better discoverability and connection this year.

Leave Behind: Unhinged Reality TV Madness

Instead, in 2024: For your mental health, watch less reality tv.

Why? Ah, the glory days of unhinged reality TV, where drama was as essential as oxygen. From cheating scandals like the infamous "Scandoval" to explosive confrontations on Love Is Blind, it felt like the more chaotic, the better. The overproduced shows exposed a darker side where on-screen bullying is now off-screen, and viewers intertwine their daily lives and opinions with a reality they didn't really experience.

In this new year, the excesses of drama and toxicity make way for a more mindful approach to entertainment. Acknowledge the impact of media consumption on your well-being—it's not all good. At the end of the day, a little less reality TV might be the mental health boost we all need.

Looking Ahead in 2024

Merriam-Webster got it right with the 2023 Word of the Year—'Authentic.' If last year taught us anything, it's the universal craving for genuine experiences, steering clear of fakeness. Amidst the rapid evolution of AI and the approaching elections, opportunities will arise where reality needs to take center stage, and authenticity becomes our guiding principle.

The ride continues, and we're excited about what's to come—real, unfiltered experiences and a touch of unpredictability. Here's to keeping it genuine in the new year!

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