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Never mind that the first decade of this millennium would only end on December 31, 2010 -- yes, before you shoot off that mail, please consider that there was no year zero in the Anno Domini era -- everyone is happily making their list of the decade gone by. The Pew Research Center has gone ahead and done their own survey:
Clear majorities see cell phones, the internet and e-mail as changes for the better, and most also view specific changes such as handheld internet devices and online shopping as beneficial trends. There is greater division of opinion, however, over whether social networking sites or internet blogs have been changes for the better or changes for the worse.
Most see increasing racial and ethnic diversity as a change for the better, as well as increased surveillance and security measures and the broader range of news and entertainment options.
But the public is divided over whether wider acceptance of gays and lesbians, cable news talk and opinion shows, and the growing number of people with money in the stock market are good or bad trends. Reality TV shows are, by a wide margin, the least popular trend tested in the poll; 63% say these shows have been a change for the worse. Tattoos are also unpopular with many – 40% say more people getting tattoos is a change for the worse, though 45% say it makes no difference and 7% see it as a change for the better.
A ‘Downhill’ Decade
The breadth and depth of discontent with the current decade is reflected in the words people use to describe it. The single most common word or phrase used to characterize the past 10 years is downhill, and other bleak terms such as poor, decline, chaotic, disaster, scary, and depressing are common. Other, more neutral, words like change, fair and interesting also come up, and while the word good is near the top of the list, there are few other positive words mentioned with any frequency.
Read more here
What do you think? Do you reckon the pessimism is largely because of the recession of last year? How would you describe the year gone by? And the decade?