Where did we see ourselves in 10 years? – A look back at 2010

Sam Wilson  |  January 20, 2020

As predictably as IOS updates every 12 seconds and the release of the 67th Fast and Furious film, 2020 is already flying by. Memories of Jools’ Hootenanny are already fading and, somehow, we’re already three weeks into our new decade. Like many of you, we’ve been taking the dawn of a fresh 10 years to have a look back at the decade just past (with time flying like it does, it feels like we blinked and missed half of it). Looking back at 2010 in particular and it is equally surprising that certain events and memories are already 10 years old, whilst others feel like they could have happened whole lifetimes ago. So, we thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the start of the last decade and some of the things that we felt particularly stood out.

The dawn of new careers

One of the most fascinating things about looking back at the last decade or so, is taking a journey through the job titles that have come into existence in that time. This, unsurprisingly, comes hand in hand with developments in technology.

For example, Uber launched in the US in 2009 before coming to the UK in 2012 – so, whilst taxi drivers have been around for a long time – Uber Driver is less than 10 years old on these shores. See also, Deliveroo Delivery Person.

Google Adwords (or Google Ads as they’re now known) launched in 2010, providing advertisers the chance to get those precious top search results. It has been reported that bigger retailers can spend up to $50 million every year on Google Ads – requiring dedicated individuals to meticulously monitor campaigns, ensuring they’re getting exactly the results they want. Whether inhouse roles or agencies managing multiple accounts, Paid Search Executive and similar roles have become an incredibly viable careers for marketers with an eye for data.

Whilst platforms such as Facebook came into our lives before 2010, it’s safe to say that the 2010s were the decade that social media took a firm hold on our lives. Along with it, it became accepted that any brand looking to compete would need to have a presence on social media. Social media accounts have become as important as websites in certain industries and the ongoing rise has created a host of new careers with it. Social Media Manager and similar roles are commonplace, sometimes with whole teams dedicated to building online communities, engaging with followers and responding to enquiries.

2010 also saw the launch of Instagram and, in more recent years, the rise of the Instagram Influencer! Those with enough followers, normally in the tens of thousands, can command significant fees from brands to post about their products, services and events. Miles has 93 followers and has asked me to mention he’s available for promotions for £50 a pop.

Influencers have become so prominent that a study last year found that one in five children in Britain now aspire to be one when they grow up.

iPad an idea

Now I will confess to being amongst the sceptics when iPads and similar tablet devices were first launched. I remember seeing adverts of people lying on sofas watching movies on what looked like really big phones and thinking “there’s no way that will ever take off”. Well 10 years on and I’m still finding bits of egg on my face, (mostly in my beard).

Over the past 10 years, over 350 million iPads have been sold worldwide, two million were sold in the first two months of launch. Despite my initial reservations, I count myself amongst the many (many) happy iPad owners and have indeed sat on my couch watching movies, tv shows, live sports etc so goes to show just how wrong you can be.

But what will the next 10 years bring for our favourite tablet? – certainly not a lightning charging socket any more!

We’re all still just big kids

I remember my dad taking me to see the first Toy Story when I was 10 and four years later going with my friends to see the sequel. It was then 11 years until the third instalment came along and there must’ve been a certain amount of worry as to whether these films that had stolen our hearts more than a decade before still worked, with both their original audience and a new one. Well a Google search into highest grossing films of 2010 will show you that there needn’t have been any trepidation as the release broke all kinds of records – becoming the highest grossing film of the year and breaking Pixar’s record of its best opening in their history.

The success of the film, intended to be the last in the series, obviously stuck with the studio as, nine years later, Woody and co returned to our screens with the fourth instalment last year. The fact that this franchise still packs as much of an emotional and comedic punch 24 years since the release of the original is nothing short of incredible. Will we see number five in the coming decade?  

The conversation really started

There are many that would say that the 2010s as a decade was when we really started talking about diversity and inclusion. ‘Diversity’ has been said to one of the buzzwords of the decade, whilst Sarah Kate Ellis, President of GLAAD, said that “this decade has been about diversity and inclusion – at least the starting of the conversation”. It’s certainly fair to say that it was the decade of the diversity hashtag with #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and #GenderPayGap making waves bringing key issues into mainstream media.

With so much positive progress in the last 10 years, although many would argue not enough progress, dare we hope that by 2030 we no longer need to speak about diversity as something requiring urgent action? Will a lack of inclusion and diversity will be something we look back on in shame and disbelief? At the very least, we can hope that positive change will continue to come from ongoing conversation – that awareness will continue to grow and even the most sceptical can be swayed.

So, 2020 here we are! What new careers will the new decade bring? What will be the next big tech launch? And, perhaps most importantly, will we get more Woody and Buzz?