Of course, there is one common thread that links pretty much all of the above: social media.
Though Facebook and Twitter had woven their way into the public consciousness by the late 2000s, they only really exploded in the last ten years – now competing with the likes of Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snapchat for our attention. These things, these previously innocent applications, have now become our reality, and together they play a huge role in how our world plays out these days (especially if you’re a millennial or late Generation X-er). Because of social media, popular culture has never been more, err, popular, but it now comes in disposable forms rather than lasting influences – or so it seems. That’s why the 2010s was more a decade of things, fads and temporary cultural phenomenons, rather than stuff we’ll be getting warm and fuzzy about in 20 years’ time.
This was the selfie generation, where the questionable side of social media nurtured a culture of self-promotion and vanity, spread gossip and fake news, and helped fuel and subvert political campaigns and social activism. It’s also done some pretty cool things, such as allowing us to have a voice more than ever before and making us feel like we can all genuinely make a difference.
With that in mind, and with the globe on a few teetering precipices, I sincerely hope that we can turn the selfie-camera lens the other way round in the 2020s and make this new decade less about the ‘me’ and more about the ‘we’. As in, HashtagWe.
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