There’s no denying how special and unique this New Year is going to be. I mean, it’s literally the end of an era. The 31st of every December is spent marveling at how fast the year went by and this year’s was extraordinary as it was spent looking back at the decade. I wouldn’t say the last decade went by quickly, but it did go by with glimpses of exemplary courage, passion, and determination.
The last ten years changed the face of technology and our dependence on it, it brought issues of environment and women liberation to the forefront with teenagers taking charge, we lost some species and forest covers and brought back some from the brink of extinction. We bid our goodbye to traditional TVs and computers and welcomed digital and social media. From AC filters to social media filters, countries legalizing same sex marriages or allowing women the right to drive, and a person of color becoming British royalty. Things have changed drastically over the last ten years. We’re proud of some and can learn from others, but we surely can’t stop gushing over the sheer impact of some of the most significant culture movements of 2010s.
The Decade of the Teenagers
If there’s one thing that the world learnt in the recent years is that kids and their prowess is not limited to Enid Blyton books. There’s nothing more empowering than to see the leaders of tomorrow take charge today. Malala Yousafzai now known as the youngest recipient of the Nobel Award, was only 14 when she was shot in the head by the Taliban for wanting to pursue an education. She inspired millions of people around the world and came out victorious.
The second most prominent teenager to start a worldwide dialogue on a pressing issue was Greta Thunberg. She was only 15 when she decided to sit outside the Sweden Parliament as a way to bring attention to climate change. She amassed millions around globe in climate strikes last year, calling upon world leaders to take necessary actions.
The Indispensable Presence of Social Media and the Internet
Right from trending memes to social media campaigns like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter, the social media grew to a multi-faceted platform that few of us could have imagined at the beginning of the decade. We saw a new career take over and flourish in the form of bloggers, influencers, and YouTubers. From using words like ‘lyf’ and ‘da’ we moved on to new verbs like ‘Google it’ and ‘YouTube it’. The use of the once almost useless key ‘#’ brought a whole new dimension in our lives.
But right where applications like Instagram, Tinder, Snapchat, and Whatsapp made lives interesting, the decade also saw a breach of right to communicate with internet shutdowns by governments during times of revolutionary unrest in countries like India, Pakistan, China, North Korea, etc.
Selfies Became a Norm
Not only did they become a norm they also broke the internet a few times.
Robots became Citizens
Science fictions like Small Wonder came true when Humanoid robot, Sofia was seen partaking in interviews. Sofia was also interestingly granted citizenship by the Saudi Arabia government. The robot was introduced to the public in 2016 as a talking machine capable of maintaining eye contact, recognizing faces, and carrying out a conversation with humans. In 2018, Sophia was given an upgrade with the ability to walk on her own two pair of legs.
The Decade of Protests
To this very day, there are protests going on in Hongkong, India, Chile, Paris, and many more countries. The world witnessed a refugee crisis in Syria, a women’s march in Chile echoing the words ‘the rapist is you’, the united protest against Brazilian president Bolsonaro in view of the Amazon fires, and more.
We Netflixed and Chilled
The digital entertainment industry exploded in the second half of the decade. Shows like Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Atypical, You, and more, brought us varied content. Webseries, short videos, memes, etc. on platforms like YouTube made it possible for anyone to create content and share it with the world without barriers of nationalities.
Osama Bin Laden was killed
The world’s most dreaded and wanted terrorist was killed by American forces in 2011, marking a great victory in the fight against terrorism. The founder of the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda was buried at sea.
We Drove a Car in Space
Elon Musk changed the transportation space forever by launching a Tesla Roadster into the Earth’s orbit. A real car was launched into space at a speed of 18,000 mph. (Who would’ve thought!!)
The Concept of Money
From cash and cheques to virtual wallets and Bitcoins, money became more liquid and easy to use than ever before. Online payments, mobile wallets, PayPal, etc. made money transactions simpler and more accessible within and across borders.
The 2010s sure were interesting and mind-blogging in places, but they were full of some of the most prominent happenings to ever take place. While the world grapples in ambiguity in the beginning of 2020, with more and more people willing to take risks and do the unthinkable, we can’t wait to see how the next decade unfolds.