The 2010s: A Decade in Review


Photo courtesy of Billboard, DCAF, Eater, Getty Images, MassSolutions, New York Times, Reuters, The Cavalier Daily, YouTube, and Zuma Press.

Claudia Tan and Chantal Greaves

The 2010s were a wild ride. We grew from kids to teenagers, then from teenagers to adults. This decade marked a big change in our lives. In the blink of an eye, our youthful years passed by and our childhood dreams finally became reality. As a new decade creeps upon us, the ERHS Raider Review staff speaks on their most memorable memories of each year. 

In the year 2010, the World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa attracted viewers across the globe like none before. The world anticipated the event, it being the first international sporting event ever to come to Africa. That same year, Instagram was launched, marking the beginning of an era of social media’s reign over the general public. 

In the year 2011, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was broadcasted worldwide and was widely discussed because of Kate’s commoner status marrying into the Royal Family. The Harry Potter movie franchise that began in 2001 also came to an end with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. 

2012 was a packed year of events that kept us on our toes. President Barack Obama started his second term in office with the support of many citizens. Hurricane Sandy came and inflicted severe damage in twenty-four states, becoming one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. On December 21, 2012, the ancient Mayan calendar predicted that the world would end, sending the world into panic mode. On this same day, the song “Gangnam Style” by famous K-Pop star PSY became the most viewed music video on YouTube at the time.

In the year 2013, the “Harlem Shake” by Youtuber Pink Guy became a popularized dance that instantly spread worldwide, with thousands of people creating and uploading their own versions of the trend. During the annual Boston Marathon on April 13th, two homemade pressure-cooker bombs detonated on the scene and took three lives while injuring hundreds more. This terrorist attack left the American public fearful of open public spaces and would influence national response to such attacks for the rest of the decade.

In the year 2014, the ASL challenge — used to promote awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease — went viral on social media platforms, prompting over 17 million challenge videos to be posted in support of the cause. In West Africa, the Ebola outbreak spread rapidly throughout West Africa. Over 17,000 cases were reported, and the virus became one of the world’s main health focuses, prompting extreme caution in interactions as it was extremely contagious. 

In the year 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ended all state bans on marriage between two people of the same sex. We saw the rise of Vine, a popular app where users could post comedic seven-second videos of themselves and their friends. The Black Lives Matter Movement was established and quickly grew through social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. The U.S. Women also won the FIFA World Cup title for the first time in sixteen years.

In 2016, the baton of the American presidency was passed from Barack Obama to Donald Trump after a very controversial election. The widely-upsetting death of a gorilla named Harambe shook the country, enough for some citizens to write his name down on a national ballot. Children were haunted by rampant clowns and the newly released social media platform gained popularity as the ghost of Vine. The mobile game Pokemon GO entertained children and adults alike during this year as well.

In 2017, the people fiercely used their voices to protest and rally. The very first Women’s March attracted over seven million women and male allies worldwide, in direct response to the election of Donald Trump. “Fake News” was trending and fidget spinners became a craze among the younger generation. The Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally and subsequent anti-rally attracted massive news coverage and ended in tragedy, with counter-protestor Heather Heyer being killed by a car amidst the commotion.

In 2018, students across the country were fed up with faulty gun control legislation and the influx of school shootings, especially following the deaths of 17 students and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School. The “#MeToo” movement took social media by storm and even made its way to red carpets and award shows. The globalization of Korean culture led to the rise of BTS and other popular K-pop groups like Blackpink and Twice. The groundbreaking royal wedding between Prince Harry and the divorced, African-American Meghan Markle was aired around the world and inspired little girls everywhere.

2019 was a fast-paced adventure, filled with beginnings and ends. Tik Tok reigned as the most widely-enjoyed and time-consuming app of the year and the Popeyes chicken sandwich sparked fanfare and fistfights. Avengers Endgame brought the decade-long first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a close and the untimely death of Disney child star Cameron Boyce shocked teenagers worldwide.

As eventful and action-packed as the 2010s were, not all parts of it were positive, and we hope that the dawning of the 2020 decade brings much-needed change. We wish for the canceling of cancel culture and the decline of the Kardashian obsession. We anticipate the fall of mumble rap and the rise of active involvement in legislation change. We aim to spend less time in front of a screen and more time connecting with each other. We want to leave racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and drama in the past and usher in an age of tolerance, civility, diversity, equal rights, and equal pay.

Here’s to the 2010s: the best of times and the worst of times. We’ll see how the next 10 years treat us.