The Last 10 Years …


Kim Baxter

The accidental missile alert in Hawaii on Jan. 13, 2018 was one of the most notable moments from the past decade.

For most college students, the time since 2010 has been the seminal decade of our brief lives. With 2020 just around the corner, it is the perfect time to reflect on what has stood out in the last 10 years.

2016 Presidential Election
A great tragedy occurred on Nov. 8, 2016, when Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States of America. Shifting from the eloquent Barack Obama to a sexist, racist, greedy person truly took our country 15 steps backward. Trump’s role as president has upset many and his disrespectful attitude toward women and people of color, as well as his reluctance to enforce laws on gun control, have brought groups together (in all 50 states) to protest in higher numbers than ever before. According to an article written in the Guardian by L.A. Kauffman on May 6, 2018, the turnout for marches, rallies, vigils, and protests in the U.S. ranged somewhere between 10 million to 15 million. She wrote that 13,000 protests were tallied by the Crowd Counting Consortium between January 2017 and March 2018.

The Popularization of Social Media
On a lighter note, screens – whether it be that of a computer, smartphone, or television – have forever changed the way humans connect and interact with one another.

Social media platforms have significantly multiplied since their initial upbringing. Starting in 1997, one of the first recognizable social media sites, Six Degrees, was created. Then Myspace came along in 2003, quickly gaining millions of registered users and turning social media into a booming new trend. By 2012 Facebook was the first social media site to reach 1 billion users. As of this year, out of the 7.7 billion people on this Earth, approximately 3.5 billion are social media users. It’s safe to say that sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, VSCO, and many more have taken over the internet.

Dating Apps and Websites Blew Up
Along with social media, dating applications and websites have been thriving. This year, has taken the lead with an estimated 35 million monthly users. In 2018, according to Forbes, out of the 8,000 dating sites worldwide, the United States is responsible for 2,500 of them. Dating applications such as Grindr (2009), Tinder (2012), Bumble (2014), etc. have also taken over and collected millions of users.   

Apple Products Take Over
The first Apple-1 computer was built in 1976. After that, Apple hit the ground running, producing product after product. Since 2010, nine versions of the iPhone alone have been launched. For some time, I refrained from upgrading my iPhone because I knew the next version would be released soon after. Overall, within the past 10 years, Apple has released 57 different products. From iPads, iPods, and iPhones to Smart Watches, Apple TV, AirPods, and so much more, Apple has made a huge mark in this decade’s history. 

False Missile Alert
Between the worlds of politics and entertainment, there have been many memorable events within the last 10 years. But what sticks out the most in Hawaii is the accidental missile alert that took place on Jan. 13, 2018. At 8:05 a.m. Hawaii time, an alert rang on cellphones, television screens, and radios saying “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” This all happened because a Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee read two options: “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” He picked the latter. Thirty-eight minutes passed before people were notified of the mistake. Many spent this time in a panic, scrambling to find shelter and say their final goodbyes to loved ones.