Here’s What People Will Remember The 2010s Decade For The Most

October 18, 2019

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like 2011 was just yesterday? Or like we all just replaced our MySpace pages with our essentially the same but somehow far superior Facebook profiles? And although it might seem like the ’90s just happened, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Time is flying, and with the close of the 2010s, we’ll have lived through two decades since the ’90s ended. And, like every other decade, the 2010s will be remembered for some very specific political, pop-culture, and fashion moments (whether we like it or not).

As we think back over the 2010s, it’s hard to believe that so much has changed since the early 2000s. The 2000s decade is known for everything from very questionable fashion choices to the somber time our country went to war. So, what will the 2010s be known for? The rise of Instagram? The time when millennials were blamed for the collapse of pretty much everything? The era of the Trump presidency? Bike shorts and dad sneakers? The disappointing finale of Game of Thrones? Probably a good mixture of everything!

Reddit users discussed what they think the 2010s will be remembered for the most, and their responses will definitely have you feeling nostalgic.

1. How much we document our lives on social media

R4vi / Flickr / Creative Commons

If there’s one thing the 2010s will absolutely be known for, it’s the rise of social media. But also for the way we use social media: to document almost everything we do for anyone to see.

One Reddit user predicts that the lack of privacy is going to be shocking in the future.

They said that the decade would be known for, “how everyone thought it was a good idea to keep track of everyone in their life.”

They added, “Kids in 10 years will be like, ‘so you met this guy at the pub and… added him into your social network? Didn’t that give him access to ALL your social details?’ Privacy will become the biggest thing ever, and loose social media connections will become the exact thing NOT to do.”

They think that future kids are going to be freaked out that we ever shared so much.

“You know when you watch documentaries now about kids in the ’80s hitchhiking or stepping into a serial killer’s van because they said they had puppies in there, and you scream at the TV like WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT???” they said. “That’s how people will think of our 2010s years.”

2. The death of traditional media

Just take a moment to think about how much the internet has taken over our lives. Print newspapers, magazines, and traditional television are slowly disappearing and being replaced.

Reddit user tylerss20 thinks this is one major thing the 2010s will be known for, and they’re probably right.

They added that you can even see the change in music, saying, “And while digital music way predates the 2010s, it took until this decade for pop stars to stop ‘selling’ albums. They aren’t tallying CD sales anymore, they’re counting unique streams.”

3. The beginning of automation

Okay, this one is kind of spooky, but a few people agreed that the 2010s would be known as a time when we stopped needing humans to do everything.

Basically, the 2010s will be known as being when robots kind of started taking over?

One Reddit user pointed out, “A ton of jobs are already automated, but this decade was probably the true beginning, from testing driverless cars and drones to entire service industries being replaced by self service counters. This will truly be the beginning of automated industries.”

4. Ignoring global warming

Many Reddit users agreed on this one. (And who could blame them?)

The political debate around climate change is going to go down in history.

User cyantriangle said that the 2010s would be known as the time of, “Knowing that global warming is going to hit us hard and doing virtually nothing about it globally.” In the future, if global warming gets even worse than it is now, we’ll think back to this time and realize we all could have done more.

5. Millennials

Yes, the 2010s are definitely going to be known as the time when everything was all about the millennial generation.

Reddit user forman98 said, “Millennials. The name of the game this decade.”

This user went on to explain: “Millennials were at the center of almost every major cultural conversation. From social media and technology to jobs and the economy. Hipsters and smart phones and gaming systems and trends and Facebook and Instagram, etc, etc. Millennials had the biggest cultural impact of this decade.”

6. The rise of fake news

One thing this decade will definitely be known for is fake news.


One Reddit user said the 2010s will be remembered for, “The incredible rise of misinformation and irresponsible knee-jerk reaction choices on very serious topics.”

While it can be argued that misinformation has always been spread throughout history, many users agree that this got even worse because social media and the internet made it so easy.

7. School shootings

On a really sad and depressing note, the 2010s will likely be remembered for the rapid rise in shootings.

Reddit user MoreMegadeth said that it would be known for “school shootings,” and they probably aren’t wrong.

School shootings happened before this decade, but the 2010s have a terribly large number of them, as well as mass shootings in general. Another user added, “As someone born in 1980, it’s hard to imagine that anything from this decade other than Sandy Hook will compare in the public imagination with Columbine. But perhaps it will.”

8. Big changes for marginalized groups

On a more optimistic note, it’s worth pointing out that this decade has involved a lot of positive change as well.

While things might seem pretty depressing sometimes, it’s important to remember the good things that happened in the 2010s.

Reddit user thirty-seven37 said, “I think it might be seen as a time of real change. We legalized gay marriage, a handful of states have legalized marijuana, and whatever your opinion of it is, the ‘#metoo’ movement has been a big deal.” All good points!

9. Fewer chain restaurants

Applebees / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

It might sound silly, but it’s true: the 2010s were a time when chain restaurants started to die out a bit.

Think about it: fast, casual restaurants aren’t doing as well as they were before the 2010s.

User Meetybeefy said the decade would be known for, “A move away from chain restaurants and the rise of food trucks and locally owned restaurants that all feature string lighting, outdoor tables with giant Jenga blocks, Edison bulbs, and a craft beer selection written on a chalkboard.”

It’s true: smaller restaurants with an emphasis on local, fresh ingredients and a cool aesthetic definitely took over.

10. Clowns

On a less serious note, who could ever forget the clown problem in the 2010s?

Remember when it felt like clowns were basically taking over?

Reddit user R0GU3-N1T3 said the decade would be remembered for “The Clown Epidemic of ’16.” In case you forgot, 2016 was the year people were dressing up as clowns not only to scare others, but also to commit actual crimes. It was terrifying! It can’t be forgotten!

11. The internet takeover

The internet was obviously around before the 2010s (who could ever forget dial-up?!).

But one could easily argue that this was the decade where being logged on completely took over real life.

Reddit user NeatHand said, “I think this will be remembered as the decade when the physical world was overtaken the online world. Dating is online. Classes are online. News is online, and it’s about what politicians said online.”

A true internet age.

They continued: “Presidential campaigns are internet memes. Print media and physical music are disappearing. Our jobs are being taken by AI. The jobs we have left are done on computers. The cloud knows more data about us than we do. You have to have an email to sign up for anything, and apps are constantly trying to wring more digital data out of us.”

This isn’t always a good thing…in fact, we may regret it in years to come.

The user added, “I know this sounds conspiratorial. Personally I’m not against it, I think we just have to find a balance.”

12. The rise of streaming

If this decade has changed anything, it’s definitely the way we watch television and movies.

Reddit user themanoftin said that the 2010s will be known for “the rise of streaming.”

They explained: “Hollywood has become dominated by major franchises, following the growing trend in the 2000s, leaving smaller films to find new audiences on streaming like Netflix, Hulu, etc. 3D had a resurgence in 2010-2012 after Avatar’s success but shortly fizzled out after. Marvel movies dominated the decade, guaranteeing a degree of quality with each movie. Television, and binge watching shows on streaming, has led to more buzz on shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, etc.”

It’s true: streaming is the present and future!

13. Donald Trump

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

However you feel about the 45th president of the United States, you have to admit that he has been a huge part of this past decade, particularly the later half.

These will definitely be the years known for Trump’s presidency.

One Reddit user said, “The media has sensationalized the crap out of him to the point where I’d bet he’ll be very over represented in people’s minds.”

This probably isn’t very far from the truth. It’s hard to escape any news stories about Trump.

Another Redditor agreed.

Especially when it came to the difference between the governing styles of the 44th and 45th presidents. “The wild switch from president Obama to president Trump. Say what you want good or bad about either of them, but their ways of doing the job are very different in many ways.”

14. Creating fast content quickly

Social media is a huge part of this decade, especially a few specific apps.

Reddit user DitzyWhooves believes that the ability to create fun content very fast is going to be a mark of the decade.

They explained the decade would be known for, “The rise of Vine and Tik Tok, and creating memorable content in a couple of seconds. The Popularity of YouTube, content users working full time on there, gaining books deals and award nominations.”

15. Social media influencers

Were there even social media influencers before the 2010s?

One Reddit user said this decade will be remembered for “the big rise of social media stars/influencers.”

They went on to say, “They used to be criticized as people with no jobs, and now kids in younger generations aspire to be them.”

While influencers are definitely still highly criticized, we can’t ignore that they play a huge role in our lives and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.

16. Cancel culture

This is another part of the decade that social media has totally influenced.

Many Reddit users believe that cancel culture is something that will be remembered from this time.

Also known as outrage culture, cancel culture is defined as “is a form of public shaming that aims to punish individuals and groups, by calling attention to behavior that is perceived to be offensive, usually on social media.”

The 2010s decade was absolutely the time of cancel culture – think about how often it happened!

17. Strong expression of opinions

Speaking up about the things you believe in is important…and it was definitely super important in this decade.

One user feels that the 2010s will be known as the time everyone pushed their opinions on each other.

Reddit user virtually_pathetic said the decade would be remembered for, “People getting extremely triggered or forcing their personal views/opinions onto anyone who is near, to the point where it becomes cringe or gives it a bad reputation. For example, the extreme need to let people know your thoughts on vaccines, abortion, vegans, feminists, and so on.”

And yes, this has always happened, but it seemed a bit different in the 2010s.

They went on, “While there has always been rational debating on anything and everything, giving the spotlight to people who are either not actually educated on the subject or irrational and angry because it is entertaining, has lead a lot of stupid people to spread hate and misinformation. 2010 from my opinion is when people started thinking it would be beneficial to force everyone to put up with irrational and aggravated public disturbances, when in most cases, aggressive or uneducated protests make whatever you fight for a total joke.”

18. Smartphones

A lot of people in the Reddit thread agreed that this would be known as the decade of smartphones.

The rise of the smartphone will be one of the biggest technological advances of the 2010s, if not the biggest.

Reddit user KountZero explained, “Most, if not all, of the above mentioned wouldn’t be able to thrive without the advance of the smartphone. Yes, we know the iPhone and the smarts come out during the 2008-2009s. But it didn’t become mainstream nor affordable to most of the world population until the 2010s. Now almost everyone have affordable access to a smart phone, even in a 3rd world countries and because of that, everything else that has been mentioned above is possible.”

19. Major political problems

Politics always has, and always will be, a source of huge controversy.

But it’s hard not to agree that the 2010s have been particularly firey.

Reddit user KoolKarmaKollector said, “It’ll be remembered for the heavy political divisions. Some countries, including the UK and US, are on the verge of political based civil wars.”

20. Vaccine controversies

The fight against vaccinations has been going on for much longer than many of us realize.

But things got especially bad in the 2010s when many people started fighting over whether or not vaccines should be mandatory.

One Reddit user said this decade would be known for “People believing vaccines are fake.”

Between the Facebook debates and the new laws surrounding vaccines, this could certainly be true.

21. The rise of Amazon

Amazon / Wikipedia / Public Domain

Convenience is great, but some Redditors are pointing out that it probably comes at a price.

Who needs to go to the store when you can order it online?

One Redditor commented: “The death of brick and mortar and the rise of Amazon prime.”

It’s true that the internet makes finding the exact thing you’re looking for super easy, but the results could be pretty devastating if we don’t strike a balance.

22. The “Remake Era”

One Redditor caught onto Disney’s not-so-subtle film release pattern.

Wait, they’re making that again?

They pointed out that, “The 2010’s will be probably be remembered for as the “Remake Era” for Disney….”

And they aren’t wrong – from Aladdin to Lion King, Disney spent a good part of the 2010s remaking their classic movies into live-action films for a whole new generation of viewers to enjoy. The question is, will they continue?

23. The rise of Fidget Spinners

“How’re y’all gonna leave out the most influential trend of the 2010’s?!?”

Even if it wasn’t the most influential trend, it definitely left a mark.

One Redditor explained: “Fidget Spinners…They united us as a nation in a time where our country was divided more than ever…They solved ADD overnight while boosting our economy to levels unseen since the POG craze of the 90’s!…don’t ever forget this.” Regardless of how impactful they really were, everyone has to admit they are pretty dang entertaining. Also – POGs?! How could we forget!

24. That time we photographed a black hole

And it looked pretty dang similar to the drawings the preceded it.

Yes, finally, we got a good shot of an illusive black hole!

One Redditor pointed out: “The blackhole photo, that is like one of the biggest achievements.” If that’s not a cool way to remember the 2010s, we’re not sure what is!

25. When the world didn’t end in 2012

Thankfully, the estimates appear to have been a little off.

At least we’re all still here?

This Redditor believes that the 2010s will be remembered for, “Either the 2012 “end of the world” or the fact we made ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING a meme.”

26. The coffee revolution

Everyone loves a good cup of Joe, right?

Coffee has come a long way.

This Redditor thinks that coffee is what really matters when it comes to the 2010s: “From my coffee fanatic perspective: The decade that coffee elevated from Dunkin’ to a thing of absolute beauty. As the decade wore on more and more third wave shops opened, starting with things like Stumptown and Blue Bottle Coffee…”

 Is is worth the price tag? This Redditor thinks so.

“And now towards the end of the decade they’ve gone corporate, but people educated themselves, and now there are fantastic independent roasters all over the country. There is absolutely no better time to be a coffee fiend.”

What do you think the 2010s decade will be remembered for the most?