2010s mark political, technological change

Mary Petersen, In-depth editor

The past decade has been one of enormous advancements in technology and tense geopolitical turmoil. The discoveries and events that have happened during these ten years are sure to continue to have a profound impact on decades to come.

Right at the outset, January 27 of 2010, Apple unveiled the iPad for the first time, a line of products that continues to expand and innovate to this day. 

In ten years, we have moved from the iPhone 4, released in June of 2010, to the iPhone 11 Pro, released Sept. 20, 2019. There is a $400 price gap between the two smartphones.

Accompanying the major shift in the cell phone market, social media was undergoing changes as well. Both Pinterest and Instagram were launched in 2010, platforms that now dominate the image-sharing scene.

One of the first major political events that happened in the decade was the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, the man who was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and then leader of Al Qaeda. 

The terrorist organization, while decapitated, is not as of yet completely dismantled, but they have not committed an attack of similar proportions since.

The next year,  Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the highly divisive 2012 election, being elected for his second term as President of the United States with a 303-235 victory. 

Creating body parts utilizing 3D printing technology has seen rapid advancement over the decade as well. 

In 2013, scientists managed to 3D print an outer ear that functioned the same as its organic counterpart. Six years later in 2019, the same technology is being used to form human hearts. While still in development, this technology is sure to revolutionize medical technology in decades to come.

In September of 2016, the FDA approved the world’s first artificial pancreas, created by Medtronic, for use in Type-1 diabetics over the age of 14. The first of its kind, it is a new addition to the ever-growing series of artificial organs that may eventually eliminate deaths caused by the shortage of organ donors. The product hit shelves in late 2017.

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) was passed, the largest expansion of social welfare in recent history of the country. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it provides care to over 20 million Americans.

After a long election that dominated headlines for well over a year, Donald Trump won the presidency against Hillary Clinton Nov. 9, 2016. This result has been impacting politics ever since.

In 2017, the United States both joined and later pulled out of the Paris Climate agreement, which encourages countries worldwide to be more conscious of their carbon footprint. 

Abroad, many countries have become more environmentally aware, with initiatives being started left and right to protect our planet.

The Earth, the USA, and even our community are very large and eventful places, and ten years is a long time. Who knows what kinds of things  people will say about the next decade that comes around.