I really want to believe that the new method is actually a quicker, better way, and actually a real benefit to the dog itself, rather than just the latest "viral trend' that everyone leaped into, in the belief (or hope?) that it may be just less of an "inconvenience" to the dog's owner.
To be honest, I think it's both to the benefit of the dog AND a convenience to the owner, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I raced my dog Halo in flyball for 5 years. At practice and tournaments, all dogs that are not on the field must be in crates. Many tournaments are out of town, requiring spending a weekend in a hotel. Most hotels specify that you are not to leave dogs unattended in your room, but wouldn't have a problem with someone leaving crated dogs for a couple of hours to go out for dinner.
We took 8 month old Dena on a road trip up to Oregon to visit my husband's aunt and uncle years ago. We spent a night at a hotel on the drive up and the drive back, and while we were there we spent a night at their very nice home, and then a few days at their beach house with Tom's cousins. There's simply no way we could have made that trip if she weren't crate trained, even as well behaved as she was.
Cassidy was the first dog we crate trained, and at one point we tried to get rid of the crate since it was in our bedroom, and large. She certainly didn't need it, but she liked to sleep in it. We ended up keeping it, but took the door off since we never closed it anyway. She slept there every night for her entire life. I suppose we could have removed the crate and put a bed on the floor instead, but her crate WAS her bed.
Even at nearly 9 (Halo) and 12 years old (Keefer), our dogs sleep in their crates in the bedroom every night. They go in on their own and wait for me to come close the door. They will both also go in for a nap during the day sometimes, so it's obviously a place they feel safe and secure, a place of their own to retire to and not be bothered. I see that as a benefit to the dog. I also see the fact that I can take my dogs places and do things with them that I couldn't otherwise do if they weren't accustomed to a crate as a benefit to the dog, although it's also a convenience to us. To me, the two concepts are not mutually exclusive.