To me, the most important trend of the 2010s was technological advancement, without a doubt. While social issues came and went relatively quickly, innovation never stopped. Nothing embodies this progress quite like Elon Musk and his many projects over the decade.
One of Musk’s most notable affiliations is with Tesla, a car manufacturing company of which he is the CEO. To me, Tesla embodies the strides of technological development over the past decade. Never before were electric vehicles a practical possibility, but Tesla has made that vision a reality.
Tesla began in 2003, but it wasn’t until entrepreneur Elon Musk became CEO in 2008 and shipped the first mass-produced electric car, the Model S, in 2012 that people began to take the idea seriously. Since then, the trend has only grown, driven by pro-environment sentiments, which have risen in the past decade.
The company has also been partnered with other companies, such as Panasonic, working to research and develop more efficient and powerful charging methods, batteries and car parts.
In recent years, Tesla has also pioneered self-driving technology into its cars. Due to Musk’s commitment to innovation, automation in cars is becoming more commonplace, as self-driving technology is a feature that can come with any Tesla car.
Musk also started other projects, such as SpaceX.
SpaceX is a rocket manufacturing company founded by Musk in 2002, but the majority of the company’s notable accomplishments have been in the 2010s. SpaceX has developed many of the most modern rockets and space vehicles that are being used today and has completed numerous missions to the International Space Station in a partnership with NASA.
Musk also has contributed to scientific research through another company he helped start: Neuralink. Neuralink is a company that is working to create implantable brain-machine interfaces. The goal of these interfaces would be to make it possible for humans to interact with programs mentally, similar to how scientists have made prosthetics that a patient can control with their mind.
Musk has also helped start many companies that people use every day but don’t usually associate him with. He helped start the website that eventually merged with another to become PayPal, one of the most common ways people pay for things online today.
Musk also created The Boring Company, a company that specializes in tunnelling and underground infrastructures. The company is looking to utilize tunnels and underground transportation to alleviate traffic problems in heavily populated cities.
The Boring Company also became a cultural symbol for some people in America when it garnered a great deal of attention for selling flamethrowers to the general public. To many, this was viewed as an example of the kinds of freedoms that should be allowed in the country, while some thought that it set a dangerous precedent.
Regardless of any controversy, Musk’s companies are creating the technology that we will use in the future. His ideas have made him a larger-than-life persona in American culture. While many of his ideas are not yet used in everyday life, Musk and his ideas have definitely defined what the future can mean for Americans, which has made him one of the most important figures of the past decade.
What moment in the 2010s stands out to you?
“My favorite moment would just be hanging out with my family, mostly my brother.”
“I think all of the movies of 2010. My favorites are the Marvel movies this decade.”
Freshman, Engineering Technology
“LSU Tigers going undefeated and to the national championship.”
Sophomore, Criminal Justice
“Traveling to Colorado during the summer with my family.”
Sophomore, General Studies
“I would definitely say being an international student. I’m from Mexico, and I play for the tennis team. The most memorable moment would be just coming here in 2017.”
Junior, Biological Sciences
“I guess my standout moment was when I turned 18, and I could go out with my friends, have a good time and became an adult.”
Sophomore, Business Administration
“When my baby brother was born in 2010.”
“In my case, it was the summer of 2017 because I moved to the United States. I’m originally from Russia.”
“What stands out to me is being able to become a 2019-2020 orientation leader.”
Senior, Social Work
“When I got accepted into Southeastern in 2019. It was an exciting time.”
“I became an aunt which was a really exciting moment.”
“I became an ordained deacon. That was very good.”
Freshman, Occupational Safety, Health and Environment