We all remember the quaint New Year’s Eves of the past. Watching the ball drop. Getting a kiss at midnight. Drunkenly singing “Auld Lang Syne” and clinging to the nearest surface to steady ourselves. Those were simpler times, when phrases like “New year, new bitch” actually meant something.
After 2016, something fundamental in the way we celebrated New Year’s changed. For the 2017 and 2018 New Year, we still went to parties. We still spent the next morning heaving repeatedly into the nearest toilet. But later, we checked our phones and saw an abundance of memes about how bad the upcoming year was going to be.
“It’s like the world’s sense of hope is just… gone,” Chloe Blackwell lamented to Facebook as she lay on her couch on January first at 3:00 AM while stuffing her face with cold leftover lasagna. “I don’t know how 2018 could possibly be worse than 2017, but it will be. I can feel it.”
Chloe is far from alone.
“I remember December 31, 2015 like it was yesterday,” wrote Dan Gallagher on a meme that likened driving through the California wildfires to entering a new year. “Alan Rickman was still alive. The 2016 election felt like a lifetime away. Things were simpler back then. I wasn’t afraid of waking up to the onset of nuclear winter.”
Candice Surgal sobbed uncontrollably while she shared a video montage of famous deaths wrought by 2017, despite having no idea who half of the people mentioned were. It had 34 million views.
Alan Zurn, a meme research scientist who majored in human behavioral psychology, has a name for this behavior. He’s been studying it since its onset in 2016. “We’ve dubbed it New Fears Eve Disorder around the office, but I think we’ll need a few more years of the world literally burning and freezing itself to death before we can officially get it in the DSM.”
Zurn says he hopes people start feeling more optimistic about future years, but it doesn’t seem likely. “We’re going to have more nuclear threats. More awesome people are going to die. Climate change is going to get worse.”
Thankfully, Zurn says there are ways to combat New Fears Eve Disorder and get on with your normal, everyday life. “Get off the internet. Hug your cat or dog. Watch your favorite TV show. Just do something that makes you happy. Collectively complaining about how much the world sucks is the last thing that’s going to make you feel better about it.”
If worst comes to worst, remember: there’s no way 2018 will be as bad as 2019. Enjoy it before the flames of the next New Year’s celebrations ignite an even bigger trash heap.
This post was created with the help of Grammarly.