Since 2010, has all this really happened?
As another year rapidly comes to an end, the speed in which life seems to be disappearing into the past makes it somehow feels that time must be accelerating. It isn’t, of course, but it’s hard to fathom how fast the weeks and months seem to fly by. And that’s despite the dreaded word “lockdown”, which was supposed to bring everything to a halt!
Maybe it’s because we are all so much more connected than we’ve ever been, but the last decade – certainly the period from the start of 2010 to the present day – feels like it’s been on steroids.
It can’t even be blamed on the arrival of social media, as many platforms had already been established a good ten years before then.
But from politics to pop culture, sports to science, these last 10 years have been momentous – and life changing. We’ve been living through exceptional times. You never know, we might just go down in history….
As it’s all gone by in the blink of an eye, here’s a quick run through of what has just happened (avoiding some of the less savoury incidents which have cropped up along the way).
Being as we are now in October, let’s start with what was going on in the same month ten years ago. Well, I can tell you that on the 10th of the month, The Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Not a lot of people may remember that! Oh, and on the 6th, two characters named Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched Instagram.
Also in 2010, Apple debuted the iPad, speech-to-speech translation was common in most mobile phones and scientists created synthetic life.
The following year – 2011 – British Forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden met his demise. The Space Shuttle fleet was retired and the world’s population surpassed 7 billion. It’s now almost reached 8 billion, by the way.
In 2012, London hosted the Olympics and it was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Quad-core smartphones and tablets emerged, whilst Microsoft released Windows 8.
By 2013, North Korean nuclear testing was in full swing and China carried out its initial unmanned Moon landing. The Western World saw gene therapy for the first time and we witnessed the launch of PS4 and Xbox One.
In 2014 – 100 years on from the start of the First World War – Google Glass was launched to the public and Scotland voted against going independent. It wasn’t to be the last we heard on that subject! Meanwhile, smart watches became the latest must-have gadget.
A year later – 2015 – as the Queen became the longest reigning British Monarch in history, Windows 10 was released by Microsoft and electric car ownership topped the one million mark worldwide.
In 2016, with HD CCTV cameras everywhere, dogs in England were required to be microchipped and the Bank of England introduced polymer banknotes (no one told them about the cashless society we have subsequently become). It might have seemed unfathomable to many, but this was the year that three person babies arrived and for those with an appreciation of super computers, the latest model reached 100 petaflops. Britain voted to leave the EU and an understated, unassuming businessman called Donald Trump became President of the United States.
During 2017, sales of electric and hybrid trucks surpassed 100,000 annually, the number of web-connected video devices exceeded the entire global population and wireless implantable devices arrived, monitoring health conditions in real time.
In 2018, Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup and South Korea the Winter Olympics. Elsewhere, the NHS began high-energy proton therapy in England and enterprise-grade SSD’s reached 100TB of capacity.
Last year was the time when standard 5G started to be unveiled. We saw the first soft landing on the dark side of the moon, LEDs really started to dominate the lighting industry, connected vehicle technology was deployed in a number of countries, the Emperor of Japan abdicated (highly unusual) and the CHEOPS telescope was deployed to study exoplanets. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson won a landslide victory for the Conservatives in the pre-Christmas General Election.
And then we arrive in 2020. Many people believe this will go down in history mainly because of an issue with a virus – quite possibly! Apart from “that”, Britain’s point-of-no-return with the EU came at the end of January, with the official separation due by early 2021. Elsewhere, Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 7, Playstation 5 has been launched, Elon Musk’s first manned flight of his Space X rocket successfully docked with the Space Station and returned its crew safely to earth. Internet use has reached 5 billion worldwide and last, but certainly not least, Britain’s Coastal Path opened to walkers.
Somewhere to stretch your legs, enjoy the great outdoors and ponder exactly what has happened during these last ten years…