New Year's Perspective

The changes a decade brings in tech, mental health and climate

As the sun sets on 2019, what will the sunrise of 2020 bring? (Chrissa Howard/YJI)

Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. – As 2019 draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the many changes that have come about in the last 10 years. The three main aspects of society that seem to have changed the most from my experience have been technology, the climate crisis and the mental health crisis.

A lot has changed tech-wise. At the very beginning of the decade there was no such thing as Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok – apps that I can’t imagine not having today.

I remember playing games on my parents’ Blackberrys long before I played on their iPhones, which were not nearly as popular and common as they are today.

One of my hopes for the new decade is that technology helps us to stay connected, but does not replace the connection that people feel when talking face to face.

A goal for 2020 is to not waste my day on my phone watching TikToks and sending streaks (however tempting it may be) but to be present instead and focus on cultivating even closer connections with my friends and family.

Another big change involves climate change and the increasing threat that it is placing on our world. In the past decade, a lot of attention has been brought to this major issue, with leaders like Greta Thunberg stepping up to spread awareness.

Sadly, a lot of people and world leaders, such as U.S. President Donald Trump, have been disregarding all the works that people have been doing to prevent catastrophe.

For the new year, I am going to work hard to make sure that I do more for the Earth. It can be very easy to get lazy or feel like the small things won’t make much of a difference. But even something as small as turning off the lights when you leave a room or carrying around a reusable water bottle can have a positive impact on the world.

Since 2010, there have also been changes in mental health. While mental health issues are still very prominent, many celebrities are starting to open up about their own struggles. It’s helping to take away the stigma of mental illness and encouraging others who are having a hard time to get help, too.

This year, I’m resolving to work on self-care and making sure that I do not get too busy to focus on myself. It is never selfish to make sure that you are mentally healthy.

The 2010’s brought on a lot of change, both good and bad. I am excited to see what 2020 brings.

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