—Christian Clark, Public Relations—
Next up in the “Generations 2000s” series is the entertainment edition. The 21st Century is the “Century of Technology” in my opinion. We have been able to connect with the world in so many ways in a blink of an eye. In this article, I will focus on the cultural impact of these entertainment devices and how they impacted the 2000s to date.
- Smartphones and Tablets
It is really hard to create an argument that the most influential entertainment device isn’t the smartphone. Its presence is commonplace in our society today. We see people walk around with an iPhone, the flagship smartphone, or a Samsung Galaxy Note. Smartphones have provided owners with the ability to do so much more than just call and text. We can search the internet, have GPS capability, pay bills, take pictures, and so much more. In addition, tablets have become a must for on-the-go internet and entertainment access or a convenient display at home. Products such as the iPad, Nook, and Kindle Fire have created buzz since the early 2010s.
- Social Media
Social Media has changed the way we communicate with others from around the world. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (sorry MySpace) have revolutionized how we communicate during our day to day lives. We can send pictures, videos and our thoughts in a matter of seconds. A downfall is that it can be very addicting as some people’s lives are impacted, either positively or negatively through the various platforms.
- Online Shopping
Picture via Acorn Influence Brick-and mortar stores beware! Online shopping has taken command of the way we purchase our wants and needs. Companies such as Amazon and Ebay have revolutionized how we shop in the 21st Century. The fact that we can get a television, refrigerator, or even a boat shipped to our house by pressing a few buttons in the comfort of our home is incredible. Next, there has been rumblings about drone deliveries?! Stop the madness!
Coming in at number four is YouTube. Created in 2005, this revolutionary website turned into the first global community multimedia website. Anyone ranging from a five-year old to a ninety-year old grandma could upload or watch a video from someone. The beauty of it all is that you can self-brand and create money and possibly become famous. Justin Bieber and Kate Upton are two individuals that have gained a mass following through a couple of viral videos. YouTube doubles as both an education tool in the classroom and an entertainment one for children and adults alike.
- Home and Mobile Gaming
For home consoles, there have been thousands upon thousands of games produced to entertain various age groups. As of 2018, the PlayStation 2, released in 2000, remains the best selling video game console of all time. At $299 and a large library of games, Sony was able to take control of the early 2000s. However, competition by Microsoft’s Xbox stopped Sony from completely monopolizing the industry. In 2006, it was Nintendo who took their turn in the spotlight. One of the most influential home gaming consoles, the Nintendo Wii, was a staple in most family households with over 100 million units sold. When the mobile powerhouse Game Boy was phased out, the first use of a touch screen and video games combined to create the Nintendo DS. It was not uncommon to see a family of four sporting this clever device in their pockets on the go . Between the DS and 3DS, this handheld sits at 222 million units sold, easily breaking the mobile gaming hardware record. Cell phone gaming is not as complex or graphically superior but most casual gamers couldn’t care less with blockbuster hits such as Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga.
Coming in at number six is the music industry. The early years were dominated by artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Mariah Carey. More modern artists such as Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber have all made their mark in the music industry. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and many other platforms have made life much easier for artists to get their content out to the public quickly and make a profit. In addition, the industry has made countless dollars by placing these talented stars in world class venues which generates a better fan experience and more money for the producers.
- Reality TV
“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Not exactly. At number seven is reality television. It has become part of our culture to pick a reality show to watch every night. There are game shows like the timeless classics of Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Family Feud, and The Price is Right. You have staples like Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother. Lastly, performing shows like American Idol, The Voice, and American Ninja Warrior can put your skills to the test in front of the entire nation. Those that read between the lines will tell you that these shows are anything but a reality. Even the talent-based shows are often subjective or fixed to generate the most revenue for the broadcasting companies. With all this said, it’s no question that the television stations have done their job in captivating the nations viewers with blockbuster shows.
- Netflix, Hulu, Amazon
Coming in at number eight is Online Video/Movie streaming. People have started the process of “cutting the cord” and a big reason why is because of a cheaper and more convenient source of television. These platforms have the benefit of accessing thousands of episodes or movies for a cheap price. Netflix gives a single user this ability for just $7.99. I believe that this is where television is heading. Once sports packages and local broadcasting become part of the online streaming experience, cable will become obsolete and digital only will be the lone way to access media in around twenty years.
- 3D Movies, Blu-Ray
A reason why I believe that “going to the movies” has decreased is the rise of Blu-ray. High quality home videos forced Blockbuster into extinction. It has better quality than a standard DVD and is able to hold onto more content. Even though DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are still prominent, slowly but surely, physical media is going away. That is why it is hard to put it higher on the list. We can now download movies, games, and other applications without ever living the comfort of our homes. For 3D movies, this is a boom-or-bust depending on what type of person you are. Some see “3D” as more of a gimmick but when executed correctly, it can provide a unique experience that can enhance the viewing experience of movies.
- Meme Culture and Fads
Don’t eat the Tide Pods. At number ten is “Meme Culture.” This may be controversial on this list since “Memes” are mostly seen by teenagers and young adults. The reason why it arrives so low on the list is because even though its cultural impact is huge, there is not much benefit to “memes” other than sheer entertainment. There have been some popular trendy videos such as Shooting Stars, Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake, and Deez Nuts. Trends such as Fidget Spinners, Silly Bandz, and hoverboards carved its place One last thing: “The Dress” is blue and black by the way.