The 21st century marks the time when humans arguably started to make some of the most significant advancements ever. Be it in science, technology, or politics, the world began to change at a rapid pace. Some events should be celebrated, while others were unfortunate, but there was a considerable number of them that are extremely important and should never be forgotten. This article will name 10 of the most important ones.
Throughout history, people have done their best to try and ultimately destroy the planet. And in the 21st century, we finally started to feel the catastrophic consequences of it. We are currently living in the hottest ten year period in human history, due to the record levels of greenhouse gases.
These gases come from agricultural uses and fossil fuel, and all of this has led to higher sea levels, loss in Arctic ice and weather patterns that are a cause of concern. The world has become more unstable thanks to climate change and more severe changes to how large companies do their work needs to be made. Sadly, there is a large number of people that still do not believe any of this is a cause for concern.
More Women In Politics
Although the U.S. missed its chance to pick its first female president in 2016, all over the world more and more female politicians are starting to appear. And we welcome that change. Research from 2017 has shown the number of countries with women in positions of power has more than doubled since the beginning of the century.
In the United States, there are 126 women currently serving in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. While all of this is an incredible step forward in the right direction, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality, so we must continue our fight for the rights of discriminated groups.
Streaming As A Form Of Media Consumption
Streaming movies and music was hard to imagine at the start of the century. Yet here we are, capable of accessing every movie and music album ever made with just a few clicks, from anywhere. Youtube made streaming short video content as a part of people’s everyday lives.
Then we got specially designed services that allowed us to legally enjoy all other forms of content we needed to buy or download before. For music, we can use Spotify or Apple Music, and for video content, we have Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, which gives us the option to listen to and watch almost anything. Traditional ways of media consumption such as TV and buying CDs or DVDs have almost completely died out.
It makes sense to continue the article with social networks. With Myspace and Facebook starting things off, and Twitter and Instagram, among many others perfecting the formula, it is hard to imagine life nowadays without checking social media at least once per day. It has become the method of communication for the majority of people around the world.
Facebook reportedly now has 2.45 monthly active users all over the world, which is an insanely high number. Social networks have brought about a lot of good, mostly in making the world more interconnected, but there are certainly negatives to it, most notably the bullying.
The Appearance Of Smartphones
This list absolutely could not be complete without mentioning the one thing that made the most significant impact on our everyday lives. Most of you are presumably reading this on your smartphones. The first smartphone was rolled out by Apple in 2007. The world was amazed by this combination of a mobile phone and a hand-held computer.
After the iPhone made its debut in 2007, the first Android appeared just a year later, giving people more options and also causing mass debates all over the internet. Smartphones are now devices that no one could have even imagined would exist 15 years ago, allowing us to do an insane amount of things, and it is reported that 3.2 billion people all over the world use smartphones now.
Hurricane Katrina was a tropical cyclone that made landfall in the southeastern United States in August 2005. It caused severe damage, most notably in New Orleans, and produced over 1,200 deaths. It claimed more than 1,800 lives in total and is considered to be the largest natural disaster in the history of the U.S. It was an incredibly impactful event that was reported all over the world. It united various parts of the world in their efforts to help the damaged cities, and will surely never be forgotten.
9/11 And The Start Of The War On Terror
Right at the beginning of the new century, an event that shook the entire world to its core happened. On September 11th, 2001, terrorists hijacked four aircraft and used them in their attacks across the United States. Two of the aircraft were crashed into the World Trade Center towers by the terrorists, causing colossal damage and a large number of deaths.
The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, and the last one was planned to be used to attack the White House but was crashed in Stonycreek Township after the passengers attacked the terrorists. Almost 3,000 people were killed in this attack, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in human history. This event launched the war on terror and made the United States go into a state of national emergency.
The Existence Of The Higgs Boson Confirmed
Physicists discovered in 2012 a subatomic particle that was considered a rumor for an extremely long time. The particle is known as the Higgs Boson (sometimes called the “God Particle”), and its existence was theorized since the 1960s. The importance of the particle is that it was the missing piece of the puzzle that explains how the matter in the universe functions.
This particle is considered to be responsible for all of the mass in the universe, and its discovery marks the moment of enormous development for physics. Higgs and Englert, the scientists that first predicted the existence of this particle back in the 1960s, both got a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013.
Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal
Another exciting moment that left a mark on the 21st century and made it a century where humanity made tremendous progress is the legalization of same-sex marriages. Starting with the Netherlands in 2000, this movement has been growing ever since and now includes 30 countries all over the world that grant legal marital rights to same-sex couples.
The United States joined the list in 2015. Although there is still a lot of countries that have not legalized same-sex marriage, the amount of progress made during the first two decades of this century is admirable and gives us hope that things will only improve in the future.
Barack Obama Is Elected As U.S. President
On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency and became the first African-American president of the United States. In a country that is still very much dealing with the problem of racism, this was a huge deal. Something people only dreamt of in the past came true, so it’s only right to open up our list of the most impactful moments of the 21st century with this event.
It was, without a doubt, one of the most momentous events in the history of the United States, perhaps the world even. Not only that, but Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term in 2012, and became one of the most admiringly remembered presidents in U.S. history.