6 Ways Technology Influenced Media in the 2010s

Not only is the end of the year drawing near, but the end of the decade as well! Once January 1st approaches, we’ll be in the 2020s. Now that I’m getting all nostalgic, I wanted to take a look back at this past decade. So much has happened, especially with technology, media and pop culture. With the advancement of technology, a lot of our consumer behavior has changed. Here are some defining influences of the 2010s that shaped the way we consume media and created new social trends. These are things that gained popularity or started in the 2010s. Even though they have been around for ten years or less, I don’t think anyone can imagine their lives without them now. 

  1. 1. Influencers 

    What’s more appropriate to start a list of influential things than an influencer? I’m not even sure if there were influencers before the 2010s. Influencers started to pop up with the rise of Instagram and YouTube. It started an entire new career path where regular people can step up and determine trends for the public. Before this decade, the typical influencer was a major celebrity, like an actor or singer. Now, it can be anyone with the right charisma. Who knows, without Instagram, would the Kardashians even be the influencers that they are today?

  2. 2. Streaming

    Remember when you had to watch 15 YouTube videos to get a five minute clip from a TV episode? Or actually waiting every Tuesday night to watch your favorite show? Yeah, I remember those dark times — and they weren’t too long ago. Streaming has definitely changed the way we consume media. Binge watching is extremely addictive and I never thought I’d be able to watch a whole season of a show in a day — but I guess I can! It’s created this whole idea of instant gratification, where when we want something, we can get it immediately without hesitation. It’s like a personal library for media. What’s great about streaming is that you have access to all your favorite shows that you thought you could never go back and watch. It’s strange to have this new concept of so many options of shows and movies, but it’s nice to know that you can eliminate commercials and re-watch your favorite shows from growing up. 

  3. 3. Reboot Fad

    Nostalgia has been such a big trend this past decade. Now more than ever, we are seeing a string of reboots, remakes and live adaptations. This increase has a lot to do with the increase in streaming services. I have a love-hate relationship with this trend. I get so excited when a show I love gets a reboot, but many times in the end, the reboot doesn’t live up to the hype of the original show. My high expectations let me down every time. While I love to see a continuation of a show or remake of my favorite Disney movie, the original was already good enough, if not great. There isn’t a need for reboots and in the end, I’d rather get new original content that I can cherish 20 years later. It’s rare for a remake to be on par with an original. Making new adaptations is redundant at this point. 

  4. 4. Vlogging

    This stems from the influencer trend. Because of YouTube, vlogging has evolved into a lifestyle and there are many people creating YouTube channels. It’s crazy to see some vloggers getting as many as 5 million views on their weekly videos! Over the past decade, YouTube and vlogging has evolved into a new form of media consumption. What’s great about vlogging is that it turns the media power to a regular person who can create their own content from scratch and become both a producer and consumer. 

  5. 5. Instagram

    Instagram is pretty broad to put on this list, but I’m specifically referring to how it created our obsession for perfection and competition. Because of Instagram, we have to post not just ~any~ picture, but the best of the best, such as a FaceTuned or VSCO filtered photo that shows off your latest beach vacation in Florida. On Instagram, we can portray the life we want to have, literally filtering only the good parts. It gives a dangerous sense of competition and obsession for the most likes, comments and followers. This type of platform doesn’t work like Facebook or MySpace, where the photos posted are albums of random photos from your first day of school in the 10th grade, where you just took photos and posted whatever was from that day without a second thought. With Instagram, the point of going to an event, like a concert or party, is to get the Insta picture. It didn’t happen if it wasn’t on Instagram. 

  6. 6. AirPods

    By now, most people have AirPods. Yes, we’ve had headphones for quite some time now, but AirPods started a whole debate on whether people should give in and buy them or not. People argue that AirPods promote this idea of isolation and blocking out the world in front of you. Because of their effortless and minimal aesthetic, this can seem true, but AirPods have also made headphones a lot less of a hassle and more comfortable. They’re easier to use and allow you to listen to music when you’re studying or working out. I will admit, though, it’s a little awkward when you say “hi” to someone you see on your way to class and they are oblivious because of the discreet AirPods in their ears. 

As you can see, in ten short years, so much has changed and evolved regarding the intersection of technology and media. It’s exciting to see what the next steps are in the coming decade. Will any of these things still be around or are they just fads? Will a new advancement replace any of these? Well, we’ll find out soon!