Courtesy of Maya Bhattiprolu
The 2010s was a time of memorable events — learning how to ride a bike, entering double digits and getting a driver’s license — but perhaps the most memorable of them all was the experiences we lived through and how much we have grown. As the decade ends, we look back on the 10 best events of the 2010s.
The 2010s will forever be known as the decade of technology. Almost every year, an updated model of a smartphone, computer or tablet was released. The iPad, essentially a handheld tablet computer, was first introduced in 2010 and improved models are now in almost every household. Other Apple, Samsung and Google products also gained popularity. In addition, the Wii U came out in 2012, and the Playstation 4 and XBOX 1 came out a year later. These video game consoles were widely used and immediately gained popularity among teens. Artificial intelligence systems that abide by the sound of the owner’s voice began to pop up, like Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, Google Home and Siri. Online shopping sites also became increasingly popular, such as Amazon and Walmart, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. The innovations and creations made throughout these ten years influenced other parts of our childhood, and while the increasingly advanced systems may be considered harmful, it allowed us to connect with people all around the world from the tip of our fingers.
With this era of movies, reboots and sequels were common. Disney rebooted multiple classics such as “The Lion King”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”. All of these movies were live action opposed to the animated versions. With the release of Disney Plus, viewers can watch the original and new versions of their favorite movies. However with the many reboots, the originality of movies seems to have gone down in the 2010s.
“A note about movies from this decade is that there’s less originality. Every movie it feels like is a reboot, sequel, or film adaptions to another franchise,” sophomore Sam Krakower said.
However, despite the many reboots that this decade held, the Marvel universe gained loyal fans for their creativity. In 2012, Marvel combined all of its previous franchises in an ambitious crossover called “The Avengers”. The movie was a huge success, grossing $1,518,812,988, and led to the creation of many other superhero movies , such as Avengers Endgame which is the highest grossing film of all time.
“I’ll miss the notion that cinematic universes were a terrible idea, which was hugely proved wrong,” Krakower said. “Now each and every studio now strives to have cinematic universe of their own.”
Disney Channel/Nickelodeon shows
During the 2010s, TV shows exploded onto screens and caught the attention of many kids. Two main networks competed against each other: Disney and Nickelodeon. Although many of the shows on both channels were very similar, people still had their preferences.
Out of 56 WCHS students surveyed, 57% preferred Disney Channel and 43% preferred Nickelodeon.
The two networks had a wide variety of shows that covered the everyday lives of teens and issues relevant to them. In addition, the relatable characters on the shows allowed audiences to connect with them and when they ended, many fans were left heartbroken.
Some notable shows included Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” which aired from 2011 to 2015, “Good Luck Charlie,” which aired from 2010 to 2014, “Hannah Montana,” which ended in 2011 and “Wizards of Waverly Place,” which ended in 2012. Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” and “Victorious” left fans devastated when the former ended in 2012 and the latter in 2013. These shows were delivered with humor and lives that were interesting but also relatable. However, some shows did receive spinoffs with beloved characters, and while the sequels did appear, they did not have as much of an impact as the original.
When streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus emerged, the amount of people viewing television shows declined. However, many fans were delighted to see their favorite shows present on the service and binge-watched them, excited to relive their childhood.
“I was really happy when I found “Victorious” on Netflix, and I immediately clicked on it and
watched around half the episodes in one day,” WCHS sophomore Sydney Norris said. “It was a nice way to go back to my childhood and also see what I think of the show now that I’m older.”
In the 2010s boy bands had a reemergence, indie and rap music became more popular in mainstream music, and there was a rebranding of many artists that came from Disney Channel or Nickelodeon backgrounds. Bands like One Direction were the objects of many teen girls obsessions and the band, along with their fans’ hearts, broke up in 2015.
One artist that managed to stay relevant throughout the years is Taylor Swift. Swift changed from country to pop, in successful maneuvers that gained her ten Grammy wins and more albums sold than any other artist. She won the Artist of the Decade from the AMA’s, as wells as the Women of the Decade Award from Billboard. Other artists that encapsulated this decade’s music were Drake, who spent the most weeks on top Billboard 100, Justin Bieber, who released his first song “Baby” in 2010 and has been popular ever since, and Ariana Grande who starred in the Nickelodeon shows Victorious and Sam and Cat and then launched a successful solo career.
Some memorable songs of the decade were “Despacito,”sung by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee that garnered the most views on Youtube, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson and “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish.
In this decade’s era of social media, we leave Facebook to our parents generation and create larger platforms that connect us to our peers and people all around the world. Instagram was created in 2010 and is a video and photo sharing app where users can follow others and comment and like each others’ posts. These posts can range from beauty to food to fashion, and provide entertainment and information to users. Snapchat an app where users can send photos to each other that disappear instantly, gained popularity over the years after being introduced in 2011. Youtube is an app where creators post videos usually of their daily lives, known as vlogs (video blogs), and while it has been around since 2005, it became more well known with vloggers and gamers using it during the early 2010s. With the rise of social media, a new job has been created- influencers. Influencers are people that have gained a significant following on social media and unlike regular celebrities, let their followers into their lives and earn money by doing so. Companies have started using influencers for advertising such as Kylie Jenner, who has been known to make 1.2 million dollars on a single instagram post. Social media for better or for worse connects us to people from different cultures and allows us to create relationships globally.
With the rise in technology, app developers have learned to create platforms designed to target specific age groups. Vine was a popular platform that emerged in 2014 where users shared short six-second videos. The videos ranged from funny memes to serious topics like protests or shootings. However, the app was shut down by Twitter in 2016 because of financial problems and users began to discover other forms of entertainment. Musical.ly, a platform where users created and uploaded short lip-sync videos, also came out in August 2014 and quickly gained popularity. These users, dubbed “musers,” realized was a way to gain fame quickly. However, in 2018, the app was bought by ByteDance and merged into a new app, TikTok. Accounts were transferred over and people began to create memes and memorable dance trends using songs.
With the rise of social media and entertainment platforms, dance trends became more prominent and widely shared. Many rap/dance songs created popular dance moves, such as the whip and nae nae, becoming popular after being mentioned in Silento’s “Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae” and the dab, mentioned in “Look at my Dab” by Migos. Dance challenges also became more popular, with the Keke challenge being a prime example. Dancers would jump out of a moving car, and perform a choreographed dance to the hit Drake song “In My Feelings.” One of the most viral songs “Baby Shark” has been popular with adults and children alike. With the rise of Tik Tok, dance trends have become popular with certain audios, such as the supposedly hardest dance trend ever, the “Renegade Dance” challenge. Dance trends have changed multiple times over the years but still remain an important part of the decade.
As soon as the music plays, everyone stops in their tracks. It’s not a heart attack; it’s the mannequin challenge. Originated in 2016, the challenge involved people frozen in action, similar to a mannequin, while the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd plays. Similar to this, the “Andy’s coming!” challenge involved being lifeless- but like a toy. When someone yelled “Andy’s coming!” those around would drop to the ground, in reference to the movie “Toy Story,” where the toys had to pretend to be just toys whenever a human was close.
While these challenges were on the safer side, many prominent ones were dangerous. In 2017 and 2018, people would attempt to eat the laundry detergent Tide Pods which contained toxic chemicals, known as the Tide Pod challenge. Another dangerous one was the Bird Box Challenge, originating in 2018 after the hit Netflix original movie. People would perform everyday tasks, such as driving, cooking and doing the dishes, while wearing a blindfold. While many of these videos went viral, some resulted in minor injuries.
However, none of these challenges were as beneficial as the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Participants would dump a bucket of ice on their head to stimulate the feeling of what it was like to live with ALS, where the nervous system of one’s body is shut down. The challenge successfully raised over $115 million for the ALS association and promoted awareness worldwide.
From ASMR to silly bandz to bottle flipping, the trends of the 2010s deserve their own category. Memes, photos or videos with a humorous meaning, became more widespread and are now an important part of the Gen Z culture. Emerging in 2008, silly bandz quickly gained popularity among children and by the 2010s, almost every kid had the rubber animal bracelets on their wrist. Rainbow Loom was invented in 2013 and soon students began to see it as a fashion statement and a way to earn money: selling bracelets that were difficult to make. In 2016, the bottle flipping trend went viral and all over the world people began to attempt to land plastic water bottle. Fidget spinners, although it had existed since 1993, became widespread in 2017 an attempt to help students focus. Similar to this, slime became popular around this time for the same reason. Ironically, it did the opposite. These trends got banned in many schools because they caused distractions, and the fads eventually died down.
As we grew up in the decade, we also became more politically active in the world and understood the many issues that surround us. Some issues that were important to us this decade included gun control, climate change, the Me Too movement and advances in LGBTQ+ rights. Unfortunately in this decade, over 2307 mass shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook in 2012, and also the largest mass shootings in American history occurred where 58 people died in Las Vegas at a concert. After the horrific Parkland shooting that killed 14 students and 3 teachers, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School created the organization March for Our Lives to fight gun violence After their march in DC in 2018, many laws were passed to prevent incidents like the shooting from happening again. On a more positive note, gay marriage was legalized in 2015 by the landmark case Obergfell v. Hodges which protected same sex marriage in the 14th amendment. This decision increased the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and also impacted many people of our generation that have the freedom to marry who they love in the future.
“This case has increased acceptance and normality by the public of LGBTQ+ people,” sophomore Nazik Ali said. “It impacted me by opening up resources to increase normality, therefore making finding out I’m pansexual easier.”
In 2017, the hashtag “Me Too” went viral on twitter after Harvery Weinstein’s sexual abuse allegations came to light and more women in Hollywood came forth with stories of abuse they faced from men that held immense amounts of power such as Matt Lauer, Jeffery Tambor and R.Kelly.
“Teen activism opens up outlets for teens to learn about current issues,” Ali said. “If one cares about the issues they can promote their opinion, start debates, sign petitions, and protest.”
The 2010s were the period of time that we grew up, and will be fondly remembered and dearly missed. From the major strides in technology and social media which allowed us to connect with people all around the world, to movements that proved that our generation would not stand for injustices, this decade held many memories, and will be forever in our hearts.
“I am sad the decade is ending because I enjoyed all the music, toys and all the memories that I made,” sophomore Alicia Garretson said. “To know that it’s almost over makes me sad because 2010s were full of trends and toys that made my childhood great.”