Looking back at everything that happened in the last decade, it is hard to say what is to come. Will President Trump be reelected? How will climate change affect our lives? What will be the immigration situation in the upcoming years? For those of you following the Soleimani situation in Iran, consider: will it start yet another war in the middle east? Putting aside the fact that not one of these questions is uplifting to think about now, the answers will determine the course of the next decade.
On the brighter side, we are poised to witness great achievements regarding technology such as self-driving cars, and solar-powered commercial airlines. The first manned mission on Mars may take place in 2024, research is being done to reverse aging, and resurrecting extinct species might not be a fictitious element of cinema anymore. The thought of these exciting prospects previously thought of as science fiction becoming a reality could, in theory, disguise all the “bad” predictions in the years to come.
To ask whether the decade will progress in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is pointless in the face of all the unanswered questions we bring with us from the previous decade. The future brings many advancements while simultaneously stressing the already prevalent question: with population growth, technological leaps, deforestation, poverty, debt, oil production, and the rate of commercial consumption, how can we expect to attain sustainable development? The years past don’t inspire much confidence in our ability to do so. On the other hand, the rising generation (gen-Z) has shown a willingness to challenge and advocate for the change necessary to move in the right direction.
In terms of pop culture, it will invariably entail more marriages, children, and shocking divorces. All that aside, it has also proven itself to be a platform for activism and spreading information rapidly. This transitions into the future of social media. Will there be another Facebook situation or something entirely in a league of its own? Social media is the modern-day equivalent of a double-edged sword; there is no way of knowing the damage until it has already been done. This is not to undermine the beneficial and enjoyable aspects of social media, but as computer algorithms seem to know us better than our friends, what can we expect?
Most of the time, it is easier to recall all the bad things that occurred and the questions left unanswered than to remember all the good that was accomplished. We tend to obsess over all the wrongs of society rather than the good. Maybe in this decade, we’ll tip the scales.
Graphic: Ryan Rhew