To say that the landscape of the entire world has changed more in the past decade than it has in previous ones would not be incorrect. Technological advancements as well as the general ‘global’ culture (thanks to globalization!!) have brought forth changes in ways that were considered to be, well, impossible before. From the advancements of science, television; from the social networks that took over the world by storm to the election of Obama; the first African-American President of the United States – this decade had it all. It had the glory, the hope, the fight - it had nature showing its fierce might.
Here are the decades’ Top Eight moments that defined the world as we know it:
8 – Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling
A fantasy novel about an adolescent boy’s fight between good and evil, Harry Potter, was responsible for the massive hype that engulfed everyone. Overnight the book garnered much attention. Fans of the book – Harry Potter, a young wizard, and his best friends gulped everything that was handed over to them by J. K. Rowling. Such was its popularity that the entire series has sold over 400 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 67 languages! Not just that, the six books that were made into series of pictures were the highest grossing film series. The Harry Potter franchise is worth about 15 billion pounds.
7 – Reality TV
Before 2000, TV shows most often dealt in the soap opera variety but during the early years of 2000, reality television started picking up. From the first Pop Idol show, which Will Young won in 2001 to the latter spin offs of the same variety, reality TV truly changed the way television was being made. Series like Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race to name a few, completely redefined the way that people wanted to view television. American Idol, one of the most watched reality TV shows has a viewership of almost 28.84 million people!
6 – Smart Phones
Smart phones were introduced in the early 2000s and have since then, truly revolutionized the ‘mobile phone’. Technological advancements have made the smart phone a more stylish accessory than its older counterpart ‘mobile phone’ – they’re also relatively simpler to use. Smart phones offer almost a PC-like functionality – you can do whatever you want from reading a book to writing an email; A smart phone has it all and can perform multiple functions all at the same time. With the release of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, the way we now ‘communicate’ with each other has really truly been redefined.
5 – Social Networking and Video Sharing
Social Networking sites like Facebook and MySpace etc are currently the most visited sites of the world. Facebook has a ‘population’ of over 400 million users. Social Networking has marked a change in which humans interact with each other. Video sharing was a result of the availability of mobile phones with video capabilities, i.e. cheaper ways of documenting videos. With YouTube, the online video revolution was given a massive push – suddenly, everyone was putting their videos for everyone else to see. It goes without saying that Social Networking has completely transformed the way humans interacted with each other. In 2009, when the Iran- election fiasco took place, Iranians used micro-blogging- service Twitter to keep them updated creating massive public awareness on a global level. Thus social networks have completely changed the way people interact with each other.
4 – Economic Recession
In 2008, the entire world was engulfed in a recession. The global recession resulted in an increase in unemployment, increasing prices of commodities and resulted in a massive drop in trade all over the world. Reminiscent of the Great Depression of the 1930s the recession, the rising unemployment caused widespread jitters among the people. By the third quarter of 2009, the US economy grew by almost 3.5 percent thus indicating the end of the recession.
3 - Indian Ocean Tsunami
In 2004, an undersea earthquake off the coast of Indonesian Island of Sumatra resulted in triggering the Tsunami wave. The resulting wave caused widespread damage all over the Southeast Asian countries with over 230,000 people died and millions displaced. A massive relief effort was immediately put together minimizing the death toll. Over $7 billion were donated by the international community to help the people affected by the Tsunami.
2 – 9/11
The entire world looked in shock and horror as four hijacked planes by Al- Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center among other locations on September 11 2001. This resulted in the death of almost three thousand American people. The attack resulted in the President of the United States, George Bush, starting his War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. The conflict has led to hundreds of thousands of lives being lost and has had lasting effects on the world at large.
1 – Obama’s election
November 2008’s Presidential elections brought forth with them a surprise in the form of Barack Obama’s victory – the First Black President of United States. Election of an African American as the President, who just a handful of decades ago was not even allowed to vote was one giant leap for racial equality in the US. The ‘Change’ that was the motto of Barack Obama had finally been brought forth. Obama’s inaugural ceremony was hailed as a ‘defining’ moment and was watched by billions of people worldwide.