TX. Decades

All the buzz as this new year began was focused on the beginning of a whole new decade — a momentous event. Gone are the 20-teens and here come the 2020s!

It all got me thinking about decades gone by.

In the decade from 2001-2010, most of us teenagers were likely still young children. Those were different times, and things were a lot different than they are today. As children, we lived in the decade of newly developing technology and old television shows that no longer even play!

It’s amazing to think that as modern-day teenagers, this is our third decade on earth! Things have changed, developed and even evolved to where they are more stylish, comfortable, affordable and advanced in areas from clothing to our technology to our focuses.

There are things we wish that we could go back to, like the simplicity of our childhoods, drinking apple juice and watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” on TV, and there are definitely things that would make us cringe, like our silly hairdos and fashion trends. Yet, there are also updates since then that we don’t think we could go without in our futures.

Here are some of the things that have changed in the past two decades:

‘Ugly’ trends

There are a lot of new trends that we love, and old trends that we miss. For example, when you were a child, do you remember wearing Sillybandz? Or getting the tiny fake eraser phones from the book sale? Or how about the iPod Nanos that we all had or even still have from our younger days?

These are just a few trends that no one who was a kid in the 2000s will ever forget. It was a decade full of hilariously ugly fashion and toy trends.

Additionally, there were technology advancements. As mentioned previously, the iPod Nano was a very influential part of many current teens’ childhoods. It’s something that was used a lot in many homes as an alarm or just for music.

The classic Wii was also a very big addition to society in those days. They no longer sell games for this ancient video game console, but it was a major part of many kids’ lives, and I, along with many other teens, cherish the family memories made on “Just Dance.” Not to mention the Nintendo DS, which was a tiny video game device. The kids who owned one were the envy of every one of their peers.

These, along with many archaic versions of the Xbox and the PlayStation, were a huge part of many of today’s teens’ childhoods.

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Many of our focuses have shifted as a society, but also as teenagers. Cellphones were not a very large part of our younger years. They became more popular as technology evolved and advanced.

This is now one of the biggest parts — some may even say the core — of a teenager’s life. The cellphone is something that many young people are completely reliant on and need to survive in the “real world.”

Hello, social media

Video games have become a lot more advanced over the years, and there are a lot more games that have been created and produced.

Fighting games and more violence overall have become popular. Rather than playing “Poptropica” or “Barbie” on our chunky computers, we now play ”Call of Duty,” “Clash of Clans” or “Fortnite” on our smaller, more convenient devices. This is a huge cultural shift from previous decades. There has been nothing like this in history.

Social media was new to our previous decade — now, it is all that we spend time on. Earlier, it barely existed and was still coming of age, and not many people participated in “posting” or communicating through social media.

Now Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok coat the faces of our cellphones as we ghost throughout our daily lives on these devices. It is a sobering and almost disturbing thought that the lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” have all but become a reality: “People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening.”

Mental health has become a much bigger issue as the children of yesterday’s decade become the teenagers of today. It is becoming something that needs more attention and needs to be taken much more seriously than it has in previous years.

Good mental health is an important aspect of every teenager’s life, and it is important that a teenager and a child always have someone to talk to. If you are feeling depressed, especially if you are feeling suicidal, always talk to someone. Life can be tough, but we can make it through it together!

Finally, something that we all have been a part of is the transition between styles of music! In the 2000s, we were still freeing ourselves of the funk stage and moving toward modern-day pop!

Now we have some newer and awesome artists like Billie Eilish; we have the return of the Jonas Brothers and we have Ariana Grande and Drake. One Direction has evolved and become an entirely different set of people!

Some amazing things happened in our past decades, and we can’t wait to see what the new decade brings for these different pieces of our lives.

Kaia McClure is a senior at Syracuse High and one of four girls in her family. Aside from reading and writing, she loves going boating and playing tennis. If you want to chat with her, email her at kaiaxmc@gmail.com.

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