Tragedy, technology mark first decade of new millennium

The Jazz Age in the Roaring Twenties. The Swingin’ Forties. The Psychedelic Sixties. Every decade has something it is remembered for. This January, a new decade will begin, and many wonder what the 2000s will be remembered for.

The 2000s decade has been filled with many big news stories and controversial issues. Many view this decade as a decade of technological advances; others see the widespread impact of the failing economy, terrorist events and recent wars. The decade has also featured new advancements in music, art and much more.

With the introduction of new technology such as the iPod and iPhone, handheld devices have become almost as common as a wallet in many Americans’ pockets. “We experienced a decade of intense technological increase,” said senior Kyle Liddy. “There were new iPods and cell phones coming almost every month. It was really hard to keep up with the changing technology.”

Several people made a lasting and major impact on the world during this decade. “You can’t leave out George Bush when mentioning the 2000s,” said Liddy. “He made such a big dent in the world after the fuss about September 11 and the Katrina incident.”

Bush led the country into two different wars during his eight years in office, and in 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American president. “Obama was a standout figure to me after saying that he could fix everything wrong and hasn’t done much of anything,” said senior Rebecca Abrams.

Other topics dominating the world scene included more advancements in civil rights, particularly in the gay community. “I think we saw a lot more effort on acceptance towards others,” said senior Kyle Buhr. “It certainly wasn’t the 1960s, but we saw a little increase in civil rights.”

Years after a decade ends, society usually comes up with a nickname for those particular 10 years. This decade has yet to named, although there are several ideas. Abrams thinks we should call it the Failing 10s because of the terrible economic downturn and terrorism events.

Other names proposed by folks around the country focus less on what happened during these years and more on how to handle the numbers. Suggestions include the Double-Os, the Oh-Ohs, the Y2Ks and the Millies. Foomedia launched an online campaign to designate the decade as the Naughties. Artist David Wales, the mastermind behind “Project Naughtie,” thinks it’s a good name because “everyone I’ve told it to has laughed.”

Whether it was good or bad, productive or unsuccessful, there is no denying the 2000s was a decade steeped in a lot of big news stories, a changing society and a huge economic downturn.

Freshman Paige Urmey is generally upbeat about the past 10 years. “I think we can say that this was a successful decade, after we made so many more advancements than in past years,” she said.

However, Urmey also believes there is much work to be done to make upcoming decades better. “We need to think about better ways to lead America, such as making a stronger and more successful government to prepare us for the future,” she said.

Click here for a list of major events in the past decade. Leave a comment and let us know if you think we’ve left out something important.