Every passing decade serves as a generational snapshot of time defined by the craziest, the weirdest and the coolest phenomena and things. And every decade leaves a special mark, culturally.
People often like to look back from time to time and bathe themselves in nostalgia. There have been and there will always be certain phenomena and things from the past that people and popular culture will romanticize like, for example, arcade gaming from the 80s and teen pop from the 90s.
This current decade is no exception. Here are some phenomena and things that pretty much define the 2010s and that are almost guaranteed to be romanticized by popular culture in the coming future.
2010s has been all about internet stardom with millions of people across the world dreaming to become internet celebrities. Whether through YouTube or Instagram or blogging, everyone wants to be famous on the internet.
The internet has allowed the masses to become celebrities literally with the click of a mouse as compared to the months and years of grinding it usually takes to become a celebrity in a conventional way.
And all of this has been made possible simply because the internet allows videos, pictures and writings to spread quicker than wildfire and with a worldwide reach of the spread.
Internet stardom has not only brought instant fame to thousands of people but also instant wealth, very often fabulous wealth. Some internet stars even end up getting fabulous sponsorships from both internet and non-internet based companies.
Massively Viral Smartphone Games
2010s has been the decade of smartphones and with them come smartphone games. Smartphones are THE platform of choice for gaming in the 2010s because they behave basically as tiny touch-enabled consoles in our hands and therefore the massive convenience they provide for gaming is irresistible for anyone.
Smartphone games have revolutionized gaming. From social network linked games to always online games to free games with in-game purchases, smartphone games have brought it all and seen it all in the 2010s.
Perhaps the craziest phenomena in smartphone gaming in the 2010s have been the massively viral popularity of Angry Birds and Pokemon GO.
People in the future are guaranteed to look-back to the 2010s and remember how, for nearly half a decade, millions upon millions of people around the world took revenge on evil pigs by shooting angry birds on them and how during one entire summer almost everyone stayed outside of their homes and caught these magical creatures called Pokemon.
Popularity of The Undead (zombies)
Zombies have really taken over the pop culture of the 2010s. In movies, in TV shows, in video games, in literature and pretty much everywhere else, the massive popularity of zombies has taken this what used to be a sub-genre of horror to a full-fledged genre status.
The massive popularity of zombies is because they personify our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Just like death, they are slow and steady in their approach, clumsy, absurd, relentless, intractable and unstoppable.
Like death, zombies are simple. They don't have complex motivations and they don't have a goal. They seek out the living and they eat them and that's just what death does.
And then there is the absurdly popular zombie apocalypse - a perfect example of uncouth escapism devoid of government, authority, societal responsibilities and regulations and where the only thing that matters is survival.
Internet Memes and Emojis
If there's one thing that defines the internet trends and basically the online pop culture trends of the 2010s, it is internet memes. Internet memes are tiny packets of ideas/thoughts, represented by an image or a piece of text or an animated GIF almost always humorous and quirky in nature.
Memes are everywhere - from their traditional home in internet forums to all forms of social media to even the comment sections of conventional websites.
The enormous popularity of memes lies in the simplicity of their creation, ease of their replicability, the briskness of their spread and in the longevity they offer in terms of pop culture memory which is usually extremely short.
Emojis are basically ideograms that represent an idea, a thing or a concept. Given to the world by Japan in the early 2000s, emojis have really taken over the internet in this current decade, thanks to social networks and instant messaging. There is rarely a written conversation these days on the internet that doesn't use one or more emojis, that's how crazy popular they have become.