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This Is What We Won't Miss About 2019 - From Angry Social Media To Air Pollution In Cities

We are so done with 2019! Here is what we will be saying goodbye to...
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Fingers crossed we’ll see less of this half-dozen in 2020.

Angry social media
Getty Images
Angry social media

Social media nastiness

Engaging on a social media platform in 2019 demanded the mental equivalent of a flak jacket. Within seconds you could be sucked into a maelstrom of outrage and counter-outrage, angry posters writing with the CAPS LOCK ON AT ALL TIMES and sprinkling their posts with exploding head emojis in an effort to adequately convey their ire. So here’s hoping that next year we can get a bit more Zen on social media, and make it our aim to respond to provocation by taking a deep breath and remembering that old mantra, ‘If you can’t think of anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’

Apps only on your smartphone

We’re used to thinking of apps as being software specific to a phone or tablet, but this is changing. For example, the new Polestar 2 EV comes with an infotainment system powered by Google’s Android, offering apps you’re familiar with like Google Assistant, Spotify, Google Play and Google Maps. The last of these is popular with drivers as a satnav system that provides real-time traffic information, so by migrating the app to the dash display, drivers no longer have to keep glancing at their phone. The apps also automatically update, and synch with preferences on your phone. So with EVs – as with things like smart home appliances – we beginning to see the migration of apps away from our phones and onto the other technologies we use on a day-to-day basis.

VAR debates

Whether or not you’re a follower of football, it’s been difficult to avoid the increasingly esoteric debates over the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) into Premier League football. As such, the heated rows over ball-to-hand or hand-to-ball have increasingly led plenty of us to adopt face-to-palm, while discussions over the offside rule would appear to have wandered into the realm of quantum physics. How offside does a player have to be? Does a millimetre count? A micrometre? A nanometre? Should VAR be taking into consideration the curvature of the Earth? Whether or not you’re an advocate of VAR, one thing we can all agree is that in 2019 we got our fill and now we’d quite like it to stop.

Polestar 2
RYOT Studio
Polestar 2

Air pollution

Recent reports of life-threatening levels of air pollution in Delhi are only the latest example of how serious the climate emergency has become. While air pollution in the UK hasn’t reached such a critical state, a report last year by the World Health Organisation revealed that more than 40 towns and cities across the country had either exceeded air pollution limits or were on the cusp of doing so. But if we want to say goodbye to the poison hanging over our urban environments, there are reasons to be positive. All main political parties are committed to phasing out petrol and diesel cars over the next 10-20 years, while the technology behind electric vehicles continues to improve. Typical of this new wave of EV manufacturers is Polestar, whose Polestar 2 not only offers state-of-the-art performance and a 500km range on a fully charged battery, but is designed with sustainability as a priority, right down to the Vegan-friendly interior. Yes, you read that right...

Ignorance about the climate emergency

A quick glance at the news in 2019 reveals forest fires in California, floods in the UK, drought destroying crops in Central America and the continuing destruction of rainforests across the planet. It’s also seen the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg sail the Atlantic from Plymouth to New York in order to highlight the climate crisis, and millions of school children around the world participating in strikes in protest at the lack of steps being taken by governments to tackle it. So one thing we can say goodbye to this year is ignorance as to the seriousness of climate change. It’s now abundantly clear that leaders around the world need to take decisive action if we’re to avert disaster to our fragile global eco-systems.

The old-school city

We’ve been talking about ‘smart cities’ for a while now, but with most of the technology and infrastructure now in place, perhaps we are finally saying goodbye to an analogue urban environment and hello to an interconnected digital one. Smart cities aim to be self-sustainable, combining new innovations like the Internet of Things (IoT), ‘big data’ and AI to enable the intelligent exchange of energy and resources within the urban environment. For example, buildings that harness renewable energy can store and exchange it with other buildings or EVs, while the arrival of 5G introduces the prospect of reducing traffic jams by re-routing cars in real-time.

Say hello to the car saying goodbye to normal; the Polestar. Discover how sustainability, style and seamlessness is being combined in a brand new electric vehicle.