2020 Hindsight

Looking back on influential moments of the decade


Roaring ‘20s: From left to right, seniors Miriam Sutch, Gabriella Stauffer, Evelyn Jones, Emma Grupe and Aviva Young bring in the new decade with 1920s style garb. Photo contributed by: Evelyn Jones.

Sophia Shannon, Editor

The decade is over, but the memories made over the years live on. From movies and music to social media and memes, the 2010s have provided many nostalgic moments from the childhoods of today’s students. Here’s what happened in the last decade. 


Songs that people are raised on can be incredibly nostalgic to listen to again. Billboard.com listed 100 of the most popular songs of all genres from the decade, including the ones shown below.

Carly Rae Jepsen released “Call Me Maybe” Sept. 20, 2011, and its popularity spread far past her Canadian home. According to Billboard’s website, the song lasted 50 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, starting in March of 2012.

Released on Dec. 10, 2012, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons was incredibly popular. According to Billboard’s website, the song remained on the Hot 100 list for 87 consecutive weeks, an impressive feat. “Radioactive” also won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance in 2013, according to the Grammy Awards website.

Taylor Swift released “Blank Space”  on Nov. 10, 2014. This song was part of a darker stage in Swift’s career, which has recently switched back to bubbly and fun. “Blank Space” was listed as the no. 1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 for three weeks in 2014.

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“This Is America” is probably the best. I feel like the other ones are just songs, but because it’s actually sending a message it’s important. ”

— Ronan Kernan (9)

“Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) by Silento, released Jun. 25, 2015, quickly became a dance sensation. The song went viral and spent six non-consecutive weeks in the third spot of Billboard’s Hot 100 list according to Billboard’s website. Silento was just 17 years old when the song was released.

Childish Gambino’s This Is America”, released May 5, 2018, was a powerful song of the 2010s, and it shows. The song was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards and won four, including Best Music Video, Song of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance according to the Grammy Awards website. It also ranked no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list in May of 2018 according to Billboard’s website.


The 2010s brought around the ending films to many popular series. From Marvel and Star Wars to Toy Story, movie fans of all ages had plenty to watch.

To conclude the Skywalker Saga, Episodes VII, VIII, and IX were released Dec. 18, 2015, Dec. 15, 2017 and Dec. 20, 2019 respectively. The films follow the journey of new jedi Rey and her friends Finn, Poe and BB-8, and gives conclusions to characters such as Luke and Leia Skywalker, Han Solo and Emperor Palpetine. Photos from starwars.com.

The Marvel franchise rounded out their “Phase Three” of movies with Avengers Infinity War, released Apr. 27, 2018, and Avengers Endgame, released Apr. 26, 2019. In the movies, the team of heroes must put aside their differences to defeat Thanos, who is endangering life in the universe. Photos from marvel.com.


Story bookends: Toy Story 3, released Jun. 18, 2010, and Toy Story 4, released Jun. 21, 2019, began and ended the decade in a playful way. The movies wrapped up the story of old friends Woody, Buzz, Jessie and more, and introduced a new one, Forky, as the group dodges trouble and helps out, learning meaningful lessons along the way. Photos from disney.com.


No matter what the decade, people always look for good entertainment. In the 2010s, many games and activities appeared in the form of mobile apps or video games.

Minecraft is one such game. It originally came out in May of 2009, but in the decade since has rapidly gained popularity with its simple blocks and endless possibilities. According to Business Insider’s website, Minecraft is the second-highest selling game of all time after Tetris, with approximately 91 million players every month.

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I love [Minecraft] because it allows you to build anything you want. It’s a great creative outlet. ”

— Eliana Griffin (12)

Released July 6, 2016, Pokémon GO also had a brush with fame across the world. Within the first month after its release, the game had generated $207 million according to the Business of Apps website, the most a mobile app had ever earned in its first month.

The popular, if someone joked about, video game Fortnite was released Jul. 21, 2017. As of March of 2019, there were approximately 250 million Fortnite users according to the Business of Apps website. Read The Ax Media’s previous article about Fortnite for more on the subject.


One of the recurring trends from the 2010s was the variety of challenges that spread across social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge, an early example of this, started in the summer of 2014 as a way to raise money for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research. Individuals would record themselves dumping ice water on their heads, and proceed to nominate more people to donate and participate in the challenge. 

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Before and after doing the [Ice Bucket] challenge, I thought it was a really funny idea. In the moment, of course, I could only think of how cold I was.”

— Azalea Biteau (10)

Some challenges, like the Mannequin Challenge, were purely for fun. To participate in the Mannequin Challenge, someone would record a group of people frozen in place, not moving at all. Typically, the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd is playing in the background, as the challenge went viral after Sremmurd participated during one of his concerts according to The Sun’s website. 

There were also many viral and controversial questions going around social media platforms. For example, in 2015, a picture of a dress broke the internet. A great debate started about whether the garment was white and gold or blue and black. It was eventually revealed by the company selling the dress that it was, in fact, blue and black according to CNN’s website.

Another dividing question was brought about by a 2018 recording of a man speaking. Some people heard the man saying “laurel” in a deep voice, while others heard “yanny” in a higher pitch. According to HuffPost’s website, the recording was eventually confirmed to be the pronunciation of the world “laurel” from vocabulary.com.

Much more happened in the past 10 years than can be documented in a single article. Share your favorite moments, memes, trends and media from the decade on Instagram or Twitter with #axmedia for a chance to have your post featured on The Ax Media’s social media.