Hello, you hysterical essayists.
I hope you’ve been super swish and, if you celebrate Christmas and/or Hannukah, that those occasions were lovely for you.
It’s that moment again, where two digits on the Gregorian calendar change instead of one, and most of the world begins to call this time in space 2020 – or, to be all Roman about it, MMXX – for a year.
Of course, today is simply another day and the world doesn’t turn any differently but I do enjoy the opportunity for reflection new years and decades bring.
There is much to say about the world – positive, negative and all the seemingly lost, nuanced shades between – and, thanks to the abundance of social media platforms, perhaps even more to say about the way we see it.
This was the decade that saw the birth of Instagram, the explosion of Twitter popularity, the expansion of streaming services, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets and the growth of super-fast internet connections to enable them all to operate at breakneck pace.
Internet users boomed from 1.73 billion (30% of the global population) to 4.4 billion (57%).
And so much of what’s come out of that has been really, really cool and absolutely plenty of it hasn’t.
Sharing moments with my friends and colleagues around the world at any hour whether they’re in California, New York, Australia, New Zealand, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Russia or even just a not-often-enough-visited part of the UK is completely amazing. Togetherness while apart.
Raising funds for good causes, signing petitions that change laws, offering each other knowledge and making each other laugh are some of the finest uses of this incredible technology.
People – and quite often strangers – constantly arguing with each other (arguments often full to the brim with suppositions and conjecture, lazy name-calling, labelling and aggression) on the internet, I feel is an aspect of our collective use of this technology that we would do well to rid ourselves of in this next decade and beyond.
Seeing and understanding the real world – “off-screen” – is perhaps something we can aspire to do more of.
There is plenty about our world to celebrate and plenty to be improved, on and offline, and here’s to all of us rising to that challenge.
Thank you so much to everybody everywhere who has been a part of my moments around the sun in the past decade and thanks in advance for all the moments to come.
Many, many xxs for MMXX.
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Andy on Twitter.