Well, we are now in the new year of 2020 and another decade is history. A lot of things happened in those 10 years, which began on Jan. 1, 2010 and ended on Dec. 31, 2019. We call this decade the “twenty tens.”
The decade began in a global financial crisis and international recession with especially hard hits in lower income countries. Many people in the United States — especially the middle class — feel we still haven’t really come out of it.
China became a superpower and a fierce competitor to the United States, resulting in trade wars.
The War on Terror continued and Osama bin Laden was killed by American troops while in his compound in Pakistan.
Europe saw a migrant crisis, Russia annexed Crimea and pollution and climate change grew in importance as worldwide issues, with protests, initiatives and some legislation trying to address it.
Meanwhile, nightly news covered countless earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes, floods, avalanches, mudslides and hurricanes with names like Harvey, Irma, Maria and Sandy.
AIDS became a treatable disease.
The Internet grew and grew and grew and most of us know what 5G broadband means, whereas 20 years ago we might have thought it was an underwear size.
Social media has us in her grip, with YouTube and Facebook as the most widely used online platforms in the U.S. adult population — seven-in-10 Americans saying they use each site, according to the Pew Research Center.
Largely due to social media, major social movements — #MeToo and #Black LivesMatter — lit up the Twitter world. Pew Research reports that between Oct. 15, 2017 (the start of #MeToo) through Sept. 30, 2018 there were more than 19 million #MeToo hashtags used.
With the advances of social media and the Internet, Americans worry about privacy, hacking and data breaches, not to mention what and how much data the government collects on them. And then there’s voting . . .
Also in this past decade, digital music beat the heck out of CD sales, music and television developed streaming and video games, smart phones, tablets and drones emerged in this decade while we ate gluten-free diets, swallowed energy drinks and hailed a ride from Uber or Lyft.
By the way, in 2008 a total of seven babies received the first name of “Uber,” according to the Social Security Administration.
Retail stores went by the wayside, malls closed and Amazon won over our hearts, and pocketbooks, seemingly quite easily, although many of us still want to try on our shoes before we buy them.
We suffered and mourned and shook our heads in disbelief at the mounting numbers of terrorist bombings all over the world, including our own Boston Marathon and an Orlando nightclub. The entire world watched the Paris attacks and a van mow down people walking on the London Bridge. Notre Dame Cathedral burned, and there were 22 major aviation accidents.
I lost count of the number of students shot and killed in their schoolrooms and didn’t have the heart to Google it.
Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States in 2012. In 2016 Donald J. Trump followed him into office, becoming our 45th President. And we buried George H. W. Bush in 2018, our 41st President.
It was also in the “twenty tens” that most Baby Boomers retired, turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 every single day, but true to their badge of doing things “my way,” boomers also shaped yet another phenomenon during this decade, for continuing to work long past retirement and into their 70s. Whether it was for financial reasons, boredom or pure orneriness, boomers are in the workforce in big numbers, many of them drawing Social Security and a pension while they work.
Boomers remain heavyweight consumers and outspend Generation X at an estimated annual $548 billion, according to a Dec. 9, 2019 article in Target Marketing magazine. Boomers represent 54% of American wealth by household, the article said.
Boomers are also keeping our newspapers going as an industry.
“Boomers are keeping print very much alive, because it’s their preferred method of media consumption — even though they aren’t ignoring technology,” said the author of that piece, Brian Bos.
According to the Pew Research Center, print newspapers are the second most popular way for adults 65 and over to consume their news. Bos points out that large-print books also have become bestsellers in the Boomer category because of how the eyes age.
Many of you who walk through the doors of the Sawyer County Record every Wednesday morning to pick up your newspaper won’t be surprised by these numbers, I’m guessing. You tell us how much the paper means to you when you talk to the ladies at the front desk.
You tell us that when you email us.
You tell us that when you subscribe.
You tell us that when you place an ad.
You tell us that when you change your address every winter so that the Record continues to follow where you go, be it Florida, Texas or Arizona.
You tell us that as we capture your stories and your news so that we can report accurately and quickly what’s happening in this neck of the woods and beyond.
And you tell us that when you say, “Yes,” to joining our Meet Your Neighbor family so we can share your personal story with a community that delights in knowing one another.
As we roll into this new decade, we plan to keep writing and reporting the news. We hope to do it better every year. Maybe more of it will be good news as 2020 moves on.
Thanks for reading the Record.