2010’s – Best Decade Yet?

How This Decade Compares to All Other Decades


A cumulation of social media platforms over the past 10 years. Photos courtesy of Pixabay.

Taylor Stern, Staff Reporter

The 2010’s. The decade responsible for the rise of technology, streaming services, social media, meme culture. and returning trends. For Gen-Z’s, this decade was our childhood, and now we’ve reached the end. This brings me to a question: How do the last ten years stack up against the childhoods lived by millennial’s, Gen-X, and baby boomers?

Every decade leading up to now has had unique and recognizable staples of the time. Everyone has a clear image of Gatsby associated with “the roaring 20’s.” One can’t possibly think poodle skirt without simultaneously thinking 50’s. A long haired hippy in round glasses and a tie-dye shirt has the 70’s written all over it. Workout ladies, disco scenes, and big hair is unmistakably 80’s in the same way grunge and hip hop equates to the 90’s. So what does the 10’s make people think? Was it as iconic, influential, and quintessential as the years before?

Let’s take it one advancement at a time. When we look at technology, we’ve moved leaps and bounds in just the last ten years. One of the largest focuses has been our electronics, most notably from Apple. In 2010, the brand just released their first ever iPad, the iPhone 4, and the second generation Apple TV. Apple has since developed over 60 new inventions of new and improved phones, computers, iPad’s, watches, headphones, TV consoles, and more. Our exposure to technology and the internet is one of the biggest points of differentiation separating us from other generations. We’ve lived under the scope of social media, texting, and apps, and in some ways, this is a good thing.

While the new age of technology we’re living in is a glorious and innovative way of life, it has surely deteriorated our social skills.The growing comfort to hide behind our phone screens is hindering social skills and likelihood to engage in the real world and have authentic experiences with friends and family. In this regard, some would argue we would be way better off had technology stopped advancing at such a high rate. As progressive as we credit ourselves and our world to be in 2019, our “modern” communication is hardly even communication anymore. It’s hard to discredit such an impressive and exciting development, but the quality of life and engagement in life was arguably better in the 90’s when people could still talk on the phone with friends, without phones being such an intrusive addiction.

Another largely new advancement has been the rise of streaming sites. Services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and now Disney + have almost completely taken over cable TV in the last ten years. Within the last century we’ve gone from simply listening to radios to watching television in plain black and white to watching in color on high definition screens to now being able to watch on our smartphones anywhere and at any time. Our generation is lucky to have this luxury. Streaming services offer a great convenience value that other decades weren’t so fortunate to have when it came to watching their entertainment.

Another one of the biggest things we’ve accepted as part of the new normal in today’s world is social media. Social media’s popularity has grown enormously ever since Instagram, Snapchat, and other platforms were all founded in 2010. Social media provides a whole new form of communicating with people including photo sharing, interacting, and keeping in touch with friends. But, there have also been growing pressures and stressors that come with having an online presence. Social media has become a source of competition and is becoming extremely negative and dangerous to many people.

I think the early 00’s had it right before when platforms like Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr were all at peak popularity. These sites all allowed for all the positive things social media offers like simply talking with friends without many of the drawbacks. It wasn’t until this decade that things started to decline. Rapidly. Now, the bad seems to outweigh the good in many ways and social media has created tremendous amounts of unnecessary stress, competition, and cyber bullying among young people.

Speaking of the media, meme culture nowadays has arguably become more relevant in many people’s lives than that of pop culture even. Meme culture is how Gen-Z humor is often depicted and, it’s not inaccurate. While it can be very funny, meme culture is known to be extremely self deprecating and masks everything with very dark humor. While meme culture may not be very comparable to other times because humor is such an ever-changing concept, it’s a very notable part of the 2010’s.

Moving away from the internet, political awareness and involvement has also become a significant piece of the decade. We’ve seen a huge number of political movements gain popularity. Huge pushes such as Black Lives Matter, Love Wins, Me Too, the recent surge of gun reform, and anti-plastic feelings have gained very large followings. People have found power in their voices and movements defending certain beliefs have flourished worldwide, something that wasn’t necessarily happening before. People were still standing up for their rights and starting movements before this decade, but the rate of popularity of these new movements, such as the LGBTQ+ movement, is unprecedented.. The 10’s has done activism right and hopefully the same passion continues for decades to come.

The fashion in this decade is difficult to compare to other decades. Why? Most 10’s fashion is pulled directly from the other decades. The early 2010’s were more or less a continuation of the 2000’s, and the more recent half of the decade has been very 90’s inspired. In that sense, the fashion was better when it was popular originally. Chokers, Dr. Martens, neon clothes, tye-dye, are not staples of this time, they are staples of other times, like the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, that have found their way back into mainstream clothing. Film even has the same pattern in all the remakes, live actions, and sequels being made in place of anything original. (Read more on entertainment on page 15.)

So how does this decade compare to those in the past? At surface level, it’s very easy to say this is the greatest time to be alive. After all, the world has evolved to become more inclusive and progressive than ever before. That being said, I think we’re all a little biased. The 10’s certainly has it’s wonderful attributes, but as a whole, it hasn’t been the most quintessential ten year span many people may claim it to be.