A month has now passed since fireworks across the globe marked not just the end of a year, but a decade. Enough time has gone by for us to get over the ‘2019 really beat me down but 2020 will be my year’ attitude, and perhaps a little distance from the decade passed has helped our hearts grow fonder. Or maybe the decade really was tragic, and we can only hope that the one ahead is better. The only way to honestly assess the decade? A top 5 list, of course!
Let’s run down the most defining shifts the world saw over the past ten years.
5. CGI got a serious upgrade!
Seriously, we take for granted just how good our favourite shows and films look now. You just could not have had inception back in 2004. Go back to the first five series of Nu Doctor Who, for example, and compare some of the lackluster CGI we had to put up with to look at David Tennent’s devilish smile. Now look at the CGI in the Peter and Jodie era, it’s gorgeous! And look at the effects in Game of Thrones! People will point to spots of poor effects here and there, such as the third act in Black Panther. What they don’t realise is that most of the city in the Korea chase was GCI, too. Thanks to these advancements, cinema will now forever have a new tool to only further enhance our watching experience.
4. We’re more connected than ever.
Okay, so everyone likes to complain about social media nowadays. It’s trendy almost to sound like grandma, apparently. But seriously, how often do you check your social media? Or at least your texts? How often do you depend on your phone to order a cab? A takeaway? The days of shouting ‘dibs not calling’ when you and your friends or family fancy a Chinese are over, because no one has to talk on the phone, there’s apps! Thanks to social media, I’m able to keep up with my family up north, or my friend from Texas – and it’s ALL instant! Someone toxic ruining your online experience? Block them! The world has never been so close together, and that’s a good thing!
3. Domination by YouTube and streaming services
Though YouTube and Netflix may have existed prior to the 2010s, they came into the mainstream over the past ten years. Back in the day, if you wanted to make money out of YouTube, you better have a sponsor, which is why gaming channels became so massive – they had machines such as Machinima behind them! But when YouTube as a company became the giant we now know it to be, it found itself able to support creators via AdSense. This gave our favourite creators the budget to do what they love full time and to a higher quality, and now YouTube has more content going up in a week than Television could hope to produce in a year. If that wasn’t enough of a death blow to TV – the nail in the coffin comes from the crashing wave of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and now Disney+. With so much available from the comfort of our own schedule on our pesky smart devices, why bother with cable and it’s ad breaks?
2. Rise of far-right nationalism
For better or worse, the appeal of far-right nationalism really swept the globe over the last decade. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro cleaned up in his 2019 bid for the presidency; Rodrigo Duterte has been openly advocating for the execution of drug users since his presidential victory in the Philippines in 2016, and of course, in 2016 we also saw the shock victory of Donald Trump, and UKIP got a signature victory in the Brexit referendum, and that same base of support followed Nigel Farage to the Brexit Party in the EU elections, and later to Boris Johnson last month. It’s notable that most of these elections happened late in the decade, so it’ll be interesting to see how their lasting impacts ripple through the 2020’s.
1. We started to not treat LGBTQ+ people like trash.
Yes, there’s still a long way to go, particularly on the global scale, but to date, 28 nations have marriage equality for homosexual couples, most of which were only came into effect during the ’10s. Trans rights are the current fight, but were brought into the limelight in the 2010s as the next frontier once marriage rights had been achieved. Pride feels like more of a festival now than a fight for the right to exist, or at least here in the UK. Of course, abroad there are still barbaric laws on the books, and hate crime statistics are still far too high here at home, but the culture war has already been won by the LGBT community, and it’s only now a matter of time until this new norm seeps into being systemic.