Au revoir, 2010s: Dashing into New Decade of Change

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Photo of person rotating blocks from 2019 to 2020

Oh, how things have changed since Jan. 1, 2010.

Remember that year, when Apple launched the iPad and Avatar became the first motion picture to gross more than $2 billion?

In the 2010s, we also were introduced to apps for nearly everything, 4G broadband, cryptocurrencies, cloud computing, a non-politician as U.S. president, Uber, athleisure wear for almost any occasion, Alexa, and the explosion of social networking platforms that altered our lives as we learned how to type with our thumbs.

Now we’re at the dawn of a new decade. Most current BJU undergraduates were between 8 and 12 years old in 2010, and these Gen Zers—who have been connected wirelessly since birth—can’t fathom a world without Amazon, Google, Netflix, TikTok, smartphones or Grubhub.

So, what’s next in this era when time barely takes a breath let alone stands still?

Similarities to 100 Years Ago

The 1920s were marked by dramatic social, economic and political change.

Called the Roaring Twenties, a surging economy ushered in a consumer society, more people lived in cities than on farms, women received the right to vote, a flapper culture was in vogue as was jazz and a dance called the Charleston (watch It’s a Wonderful Life for an example).

Motion pictures and commercial airplane travel opened up the world, while radio and telephones brought families and friends closer. The Ford Model T cost $240, making cars an affordable luxury item, as were new appliances such as electric refrigerators and washing machines.

Prohibition—ratified in 1919 and enacted on Jan. 16, 1920—wasn’t the only source of social unrest during the decade. The Scopes trial (prosecution of science teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school, which was illegal in the state), the Teapot Dome scandal (which empowered the U.S. Senate to conduct investigations into government corruption), modern civil rights laws that were still decades away, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and nativism were part of a “cultural civil war.”

The era ended with a whimper with the stock market crash of ’29, which precipitated the Great Depression. Throughout the decade, many Americans—roiling against a departure in morals and manners—turned to their faith for answers, giving rise to a new fundamentalism.

Its 2020s counterpart will also usher in changes that will test Christians worldwide and deliver technological advancements that will benefit mankind.

What BJU Students Expect

A recent anonymous survey of 60 BJU undergraduates (15 per class) revealed that they expect the pace of innovation and adoption of new technologies to accelerate, which will create a gold rush of career opportunities and improvements in communication and conveniences, among others. But as technology—think AI and robotics—integration becomes more prevalent and razes barriers to globalism, what about the human equation?

While a “good job” and “adventure” were cited in personal expectations for the upcoming years, BJU students also noted “serving others,” “ministry opportunities” and “work in my church” as priorities in their survey responses.

“I came to BJU for the classroom expertise, the campus experience and to use my God-given talents in a local church. I’ll use what I’ve learned from all three throughout my life, no matter where I will live or what job I’ll hold,” said one student, which summarized the thoughts of most respondents.

A Look at What Transpired in 2010

  • Summer Orientation at BJU was offered for the first time.
  • The Welcome Center opened after Student Center renovations.
  • The Bible Conference offering was directed to dining common renovations.
  • The nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.73.
  • Apple Inc. launched the iPad, its first tablet computer that offered multi-touch interaction. It became the best-selling tech product in history. And by the middle of the decade, almost all smartphones were touchscreen-only.
  • Spain won the FIFA World Cup in South Africa by defeating the Netherlands 1-0.
  • The Healthcare Reform Bill / Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
  • The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates—at 2,717 feet tall—opened. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world.
  • The OnLive console was released to be the first massively produced cloud gaming-based device.
  • A magnitude 7 earthquake devastated Haiti.
  • The first 24-hour flight by a solar-powered airplane is made by the Solar Impulse.
  • The record for the longest continuous human occupation of space is surpassed on the International Space Station, having been inhabited since Nov. 2, 2000.
  • The Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Avatar became the first motion picture film to gross more than $2 billion. Earlier this year, Avengers: Endgame grossed more than $2.7 billion worldwide to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has potential to supplant Endgame.
  • A painting by Pablo Picasso sold for $106.5 million at auction, setting the record for a work of art.
  • The first total lunar eclipse on the day of the Northern winter solstice and Southern summer solstice since 1638 took place.