I suppose both trend stories could be true. I also suppose you could skip them and get through life relatively unscarred.
You might wonder where this grist of newsweeklies and the "Life" section of your local daily come from. (Promptly "scalped" by a parasitical talk radio's reliance on real newsrooms for call-in topics.)
The rule, in my 30 years' experience in magazines and papers, hasn't changed. If editors learn of three similar incidents, that's a trend. If scarring up the third one proves challenging, the word goes out to the newsroom for reporters and editors' personal examples of said trend. North American newsrooms being a redoubt of WASPs, the examples profferred are skewed. Just the same, there are new reported "trends" every day. These are deemed worthy of a NYT front page or section front. Or the current Time magazine cover on how single children are not pampered to excess, after all. (Who said they were? I wasn't. I don't know any kids who are, only children or otherwise.)
Jack Shafer, media critic at Slate, does his best to debunk the proliferation of faux trends. But there's too much of it for him to keep up with. Just do take this "journalism" in the spirit intended, to fill space.