(…and 10 points and a big hug to who ever can confirm I am pronouncing “skeuomorphism” correctly. )
As I understand it, the major advantage of flat design, besides being currently in style, is that it renders more quickly and easily on mobile devices. Skeuomorphism, OTOH, appeals to our human side – it’s objects rendered in a familiar way, with realist details. The Next Web has a wonderful article discussing the differences, and an even better comment section with people’s opinions about it. I didn’t know people were so passionate about having their calendar app look like a paper calendar, but then again I used to secretly wonder why we had so many fonts. Maybe I’m too left-brained.
Basically, it seems to me that the style pendulum, in addition to bringing us high-waisted pants, is currently swinging towards flat design. But we always toggle back and forth between minimalism and frou-frou, don’t you think? I think the current trend towards flat UI is partly influenced by how quickly sites need to load on mobile devices and the connectivity constraints inherent to those. Here is a great graphic about the advantages and disadvantages of each. As we know, the web is a human tool – it exists to benefit, amuse and assist humans. So whatever they like, is what they’ll get on their websites.