In this age of social media, ideas in the cultural and political realm don’t take long before they become a thing of the past. Social media has made our world a fast-paced one, and there isn’t any time to develop an idea or style before people are fed up with it.
This makes it extremely tough to come up with decade-defining ideas and styles, which wasn’t the case in earlier decades. However, that doesn’t mean any memorable moments or interesting ideas didn’t prosper during the 2010s at all.
In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the most historic moments of the 2010s that are sure to go down in history books. Without further ado, let’s check out the article now.
Well, there are people who are ready to argue till death that homemade selfie sticks were a thing even back in 1925! And guess what? They aren’t exactly wrong. However, “selfie stick” as a term only became a thing in 2014.
In fact, it wasn’t until 2015 that online platforms started advertising a wide array of selfie sticks that were there on the market.
Something unthinkable happened in 2014. Video store chains started shutting down one after the other, including the legendary Blockbuster. DVD sales went to abysmally low numbers, and the video store giant was forced to file for bankruptcy and close almost all its stores.
All this happened because of one major change – Netflix. By 2014, Netflix made streaming a new way of consuming content and revolutionized the way the entertainment industry works.
Well, now it is just “Netflix and chill”!
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
A Malaysia Airlines plane disappeared out of nowhere in early 2014, and the fate of the jet and the crew and passengers on board remains a mystery till date – probably the biggest one in the aviation industry.
The disappearance of the jet caught the attention of the entire world, which triggered a search and a ton of conspiracy theories.
It remained a mystery for years until Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, came out and said that the flight crashed in the Indian Ocean. No one has said a word on it after that.
Do you accept that explanation? We certainly don’t!
Arab populations had always been denied their basic rights of free speech, economic and political rights, and corruption for decades. These were some of the causes that had been long gathering. Human dignity and justice wasn’t a priority subject in most of the states. The stifling of political dissent added fuel to fire, and what was supposed to be a peaceful protest, ended up becoming armed uprising against a lot of Islamic countries in the early 2010s.
And even after a decade later, there seems to be no resolution in sight, with most countries in the Middle East in a state of turmoil. Analysts refer to this as the “Arab Spring”.
The golden age of television
There is a lot of debate over which decade is truly The Golden Era of television. Some say it was the 1950s, others claim that because of series such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S and The X-Files, it was the 1990s.
However, if we are to go by data, it was the 2010s that truly turned out to be the Golden Era of television. Cable service providers noticed a steep decline in the number of subscribers, as most people switched to only streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu.
And what’s more, these online streaming platforms even started offering their own content.
As for the TV offerings that made it big in the 2010s? Well, there are way too many shows to enlist here, but can you name a show in the television history that has had a cultural influence as big as the Game of Thrones has?
……We are waiting……
Michael Phelps bags his 28th Olympics medal!
The 2010s was the era when a number of sportspersons aimed to claim that G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) tag for themselves.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in football; Serena Williams and Venus Williams in women’s tennis; Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in men’s tennis; Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in basketball, and the list goes on!
However, none of these legends have been able to break a record that has withstood thousands of years. Well, except one person on this planet – Michael Phelps.
In the 2012 edition of Olympics, Michael Phelps won his 13th individual medal at the Olympics, which took his medal tally to 28 medals. And mind you, this includes 23 gold medals! And by winning his 28th, he broke a 2168 years old Olympics record that was held by a man named Leonidas of Rhodes.
In fact, Michael Phelps’s tally of 28 medals is way ahead of the total medal tally of several nations!
With changing social attitudes towards the LGBT community, a lot of developments took place in the West, and parts of Africa and Asia.
In fact, a lot of these countries allowed same-sex marriage during this period. Some of these countries include Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, France, Germany, and Canada to name a few.
The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami took place in 2011, and are definitely meant for the history books, but sadly not because of a good reason.
The fourth most powerful earthquake of all time, the Tōhoku earthquake was Japan’s most powerful ever, as it generated tsunami waves that reached heights of around 130 feet!
It is reported that residents hardly got eight to ten minutes of warning for evacuation, and by the time tsunami was over, over nineteen thousand people were dead according to several estimates. It is the deadliest natural disaster of the twenty-first century so far.
The end of the 2010s came with a big victory for mankind, as scientists were able to capture a black hole for the first time – an achievement that is unprecedented.
The image that was captured by the scientists was a Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH), which is at the center of an elliptical galaxy M87 that is located in the Virgo constellation.
The accomplishment was only possible because of years and years of hard work that involved many observatories, astronomers, and institutions from all across the world.
Occupy Wall Street
2011 was truly the year of protests around the world. Apart from the Arab Spring, another major protest began in 2011, this time in the United States. Started in September of 2011, Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was a movement that happened largely in and around the Wall Street financial district. Economic inequality was the major reason for the protest.
The protest was initiated by a Canadian pro-environment, anti-consumerist magazine known as Adbusters. OWS gave birth to the legendary slogan “We are the 99%”, which refers to the skewed income inequality in the United States, with the wealthiest being the 1% and rest of the population being the 99%.
Amazon rainforest fires
Amazon rainforest caught fires in August of 2019, and it burned at an unprecedented rate, leaving many Brazilian cities smothered with smoke. The entire world’s focus shifted to Brazil and the government’s action.
According to one estimate, the world lost more than 900 thousand hectares of forest within a span of weeks! In addition to the loss of precious biome, the forest fires led to heavy carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions, which caused environmental concerns all over the world. There were also several concerns raised over the potential loss of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforests, and the threat these forest fires caused to the indigenous tribes that live there.
The rise of superhero flicks
The 2010s was a decade that was truly dominated by superhero movies. In fact, this is for the first time that superhero movies have made such an impact in any film industry.
The 2010s ended with a bang, as Avengers: Endgame ended up earning a staggering $2.7 billion worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing movie of all time, surpassing the 2009 movie Avatar.
Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, was impeached on December 18 by the House of Representatives when he was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The impeachment process was put in motion when a House inquiry found out that Donald Trump solicited interference of foreign money for his 2020 re-election bid, and then later tried to stall the inquiry by telling his officials not to share any documents and go for testimony.
Finally, President Trump was acquitted on these charges in the month of February.
A referendum that made United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union, Brexit was one of the most controversial political movements of the 2010s. The voting took place on June 23, 2016, in which the residents showcased that the benefits of being part of a single market system were not enough to outweigh the cost of unrestricted immigration that took place.
Brexit finally came into place in the year 2019 and now we just have to wait and see if the Brits made the right decision or not!
Bataclan Massacre, also known as the Paris terror attacks, was a series of brutal terror attacks that shocked not just Paris, but the entire world.
A group of ISIS terrorists carried out a coordinated suicide bombing attacks in different parts of the city, apart from carrying out several mass shootings as well.
The attacks took place on November 13, 2005, and the first of the series of attacks took place at the Stade de France where a football match between France and Germany was underway. Shortly afterward, two other bombers detonated themselves outside the stadium. Meanwhile, terrorists armed with a gun entered cafes and restaurants and shot down people.
The terrorists ended up taking the lives of 130 people, which included 90 people who were massacred at the Bataclan theatre. The attack shook the world, and it remains one of the deadliest attacks in European history.
Virtual reality becomes a ‘reality’
Virtual reality was just a concept a decade ago. However, things took a turn in the 2010s, with VR headsets such as Oculus Rift becoming immensely popular in the market.
While the technology only allowed for rotational tracking when it was launched initially, it paved way for later designs that came with improved functionality.
Some of the other popular VR headsets include the Google Cardboard, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive.
Hong Kong protests
Hong Kong was ruled by the Britishers up until 1997 when they returned their colony to China. However, the transfer of power wasn’t as easy as it seems. It was done under a system known as “one country, two systems”, which gave Hong Kong some autonomy.
However, in June 2019, protests broke out over legislation that allowed the extradition of people to mainland China. Critics feared that this piece of legislation could endanger their basic rights, and compromise the “one country, two systems” mechanism in place.
Even though the bill was withdrawn by the Hong Kong government in September, the protests continue and their demands now include complete democracy and inquiry into the excesses committed by the police during the protests. Violent clashes broke out between police and protestors, with police firing bullets and protestors responding with petrol bombs and stones.
According to reports, two people died: one man who was hit by a brick thrown by a protestor, and one student protestor, who succumbed to death in a parking lot while the demonstrations were on.
An all-women spacewalk for the first time in history
2019 saw for the first time an all-women spacewalk taking place, with Christina Koch and Jessica Meir leading the all-women team.
It was applauded by people from all over the world and termed a giant leap for womankind. Well, maybe the very first “man” to walk on Mars will be a female after all. And that would be totally awesome!
2015 was the year when NASA’s New Horizons mission became the first ever to reach the dwarf planet Pluto. In fact, New Horizons was also one of five space missions that achieved the escape velocity that is required to leave our solar system.
Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning British monarch
In the year 2015, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch. She holds the record of working with thirteen prime ministers and has met more people than any monarch in Britain’s history.
Her rule, over the decades, has witnessed momentous changes around the world, and has also seen seven popes in office and thirteen United States presidents!
Notre-Dame de Paris fires
2019 was the year of fires, it seems. In April 2019, a fire broke out just beneath the roof of the legendary Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. It stunned people from around the world and has rightly been described as one of the worst cultural disasters of the modern era.
By the time fire was put out, the spire of the building along with most of the roof was destroyed, and the upper walls were left severely damaged. There was a possibility of damage in the interior parts of the building, but thanks to the stone vaulted ceiling, that was avoided.
In fact, this was the first year since the French Revolution took place that Christmas was not celebrated in the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.
The year 2017 witnessed a movement that shook the entire world. It all started with a series of expose published in the New York Times about popular movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Soon, hundreds of women came together to point out his predatory behavior. Actress Rose McGowan was brave enough to share her story that involved this Hollywood giant. Soon, it spread to different industries all over the world and a movement was born.
Women came out and spoke against sexual harassment, which was later called the #MeToo movement.
Generation Z is probably going to suffer the effects of global warming the most, and there is a lot of stake for them. They are ready to take up the challenge of protecting their future, which is tied to this planet.
One such Generation Z teenager, Greta Thunberg rose to prominence with her fight and protest against global climate change. And she has done an incredibly good job so far, which earned her the 2019 Times Person of Year title. In fact, she happens to be the youngest recipient of this title ever.
China’s Rover captures pictures of the dark side of Earth’s moon
China was successful in landing a spacecraft on the farther, darker side of the moon in 2019. Experts consider this one of the most important moments in the history of space exploration, as this was the first time it has happened.
The Rover was also successful in capturing images of the dark side of the moon, which was another first one, as far as the milestones are concerned.
Afghan War documents leak
2010 was the year when WikiLeaks decided to publish more than 90,000 United States military internal logs related to the Afghanistan war. The documents shocked the world as it revealed how there were a lot of cover-ups during the entire war, which included the killing of captured Taliban members without any kind of trials.
However, that wasn’t the only case of cybersecurity breaches that were a part of the 2010s. A number of hacking attacks, theft, leaks of sensitive information led to surprisingly more and more privacy invasion by the governments and corporations during the decade.