The 2010s weren't as good as we remember


The earliest memory I have is my third birthday in the year 2010. The television show "iCarly" was playing in the background of the picturesque scene as a group of people sang the familiar birthday song. After the cake, my friends and I played outside in the sunny spring afternoon, stealing the swings from each other and chanting "Move your feet, lose your seat!" after they'd complain (as if they hadn't done the same thing to another a few minutes prior). Life, at that point, was seemingly nice. Or was it?

The 2010s, of the 20th and 21st century decades combined, is the weirdest one out of them all. The decade has no specific aesthetic (eg. the neon of the 80s, the pinks of the 2000s, the oranges of the 1970s, etc…), and nothing really comes to mind that makes me say "oh, that is so 2010s."

To add onto all of that, the decade is very technologically and culturally similar to the one we are in now, rather than culture essentially resetting every decade compared to the 20th century decades. The only major differences from the previous decade compared to now are the fact that our jeans are less skinny, our phones are bigger and our slang is slightly weirder.

This being said, life isn't as different now from the lives we lived in the 2010s, the only major contrast being that we aren't kids anymore. I think that many of us are starting to develop that age-old feeling of nostalgia for times when we worried less about politics or finances, and we yearn to get that naive feeling our childhood gave us those years ago. I remember playing Minecraft around the year 2013, having zero worries and cares in the world (other than the monster under my bed)-- Now, even if I still play Minecraft today, I play it with the limits of a job, complicated schoolwork and constant political stress, making me enjoy it less.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it was an awful decade though-- it was very fun to experience. I remember watching Stranger Things in 2016, observing the solar eclipse in 2017, the unfunny internet memes of 2018 and the VSCO girls of 2019. Globally, we made significant progress in digital communication and innovation, and we are starting to take care of our planet and our mental health more. Millennials came and went, and Gen Z finally stuck their temporary flag in the youth demographic.

As a Gen Z who spent their childhood in the 2010s, my memories of that decade will forever be within me. But even with this potential bias, I still think that the 2010s were not as good as we remember, but normal life tinted with the nostalgia that comes inherent with childhood. There is a famous saying that goes, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened," and I think that is all too true with any generation who has lived through more than one decade. And given the quote, I am smiling quite often.

Opinion by Cameron Haughawout