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It's hard to believe the first decade of the new millennium came to an end. When you stop to think about all that has happened since New Years Day in 2000, here are 20 things that really highlight all the changes the world and the US has undergone over the past decade.

Technology Trends of 2009  

1.Social Networks.  Whether it be an internet dating service site, or a tween-dominated internet domain (, online social networks have brought couples together, driven them apart, and made parents across the country squirm.  Whatever your opinion is about them, the fact remains that Facebook, Myspace, and even Fabulously40 represent the new dominant form of socializing with friends from home.

2.Text messaging. Another communication form that has outsourced verbal conversation; some companies even offer cell phone plans exclusively for nonverbal communication. That's right, you can't actually make a phone call with your phone. Text messages also effected the way people date, and the way they break up. Breaking Up On Text Message is no longer uncommon, but so very inappropriate in my opinion.

3.Obama nation.  In 2008, Obama became president after a landslide victory against John McCain.  Many historians, politicians and analysts credit his win to the youngest generation of voters and their vote being locked in by heavy Internet campaigning.  It worked like a charm.

4.Celebrity culture.  While the air of celebrity mystique and awe has always been part of the package, celebrities these days can't blink in public without the paparazzi capturing it on film.  The tabloids are the main culprits behind the new intensity of celeb-worship, creating an addictive "need-to-know-it-all" thirst that can't be quenched.  It also means catching celebrities at their worst: including Britney and her baldness, and Tiger and his numerous affairs.  It's nearly impossible for celebrities to keep secrets!

5.Cell phones and smart phones.  Cell phones were once heavy, unreliable brick-like shapes that may or may not allow you make a call without losing the signal.  These days it's practically standard to be able to send emails from your phone.  The cell phone industry has come a long way, now including PDA devices for the busy workwoman, and an iphone for her daughter.  The world's opening up in the palm of our hands.

6.TV chef personalities.  Rachel Ray, Bobby Flay, Emeril, Paula Dean.  The list is endless—the point is that the Food Network has created a cult of foodies across the nation, worshiping rock star chefs to slice and dice all day, every day.

7.Google. This Internet search engine now functions as a verb.  That's the level of success it has achieved—it's shape shifted.

8.GPS.  My daughter wouldn't be able to get to the grocery store without it.  Now she can navigate the whole country turn by turn, in the language of her choice.    

9.Starbucks.  Coffee, in any form you'd like it, is what Starbucks promises to deliver.  People joke about complicated orders at this joint, but what's so difficult about understanding what a tall extra hot, non-fat, no foam, skinny caramel latte with a double shot of espresso is?  Get with it, people.  


10.Tattoos.  In the past, tattoos were reserved for bikers, professional athletes, musicians, and the military.  Now Miley Cyrus has one, along with my next door neighbor (it was her 45th birthday present to herself).  Not such a rebel status anymore.  


11.YouTube.  Another Internet sensation, YouTube is the major go-to source for music, videos and information.  If it's been recorded, it's there.

12.Airport security.  With another terrorist scare happening on Christmas in Detroit, airport security has kicked it up yet another notch.  After the September 11 attacks, navigating airport security meant removing your shoes and being profiled, whether you like it or not.  

13.Ipods.  Apple slam-dunked and won the jackpot simultaneously, when it introduced the ipod in 2001.  After having sold over 100 million ipods, it's safe to say they're in the running to be the tech icon of the decade.

14.Reality TV.  Practically every channel out there has at least one reality television show, whether it be documentary style like The Discovery Channel's The Deadliest Catch, or pure drama entertainment like MTV's highly controversial Jersey Shore. Reality television shows have taken the prime time slots on many networks.      

15.Going Green. The Prius would be the icon of this movement, leading the hybrid car movement from the fringes of the car lot, to the showroom's prize display arena.  Aluminum water bottles, reusable bags and solar panels are also excellent markers of just how far the green movement has come, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

16.The Recession.  The state of the economy hasn't been this bad since the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, and the first signs of improvement are just starting to peek through the wreckage.  Animal shelters overflow with animals given up by owners who lost their homes, and the government now owns GMC due to bailout support.  Hopefully 2010 can start showing the turn around.

17.Digital Cameras.  It would be fitting to say that everyone and their mom has a digital camera today, because it's true.  No more need to develop film, it's all about printing them yourself and posting them online.

18.Aging.  40 seems to be the new 20, as shows like Cougartown and Sex and the City present women in their middle years going out on the town and snatching up the young men like the 20 years between them is no big deal.  The miniskirt age limit has definitely raised from 25 to 45, for better or for worse.

19.Celeb-Nouveau.  These days it doesn't take a whole lot to catapult someone to stardom, or at least to the cover of a magazine.  Jon and Kate Gosselin are perfect examples, along with Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and Hugh Hefner's girlfriends. If you stop to think about what any of these people did to get famous, you may find yourself thinking for a while.  These celebs have gained notoriety based on associations and money.  


20.Computers.  Ten years ago it would be common for most households to have one, maybe two computers.  Currently, mine has 6 and that's not even as much as some people I know.  Checking emails, Facebook status updates, friend requests on Fabulously40 and the news means an hour plus for most people.        


As we said goodbye to 2009, and to the decade that flew by, let's stop and think for a moment. Let's take the positive and leave all the bad stuff behind. Let's consider what the next decade will bring. Now that we're smarter, sexier, and more determined than ever, the sky is the limit.

To your success!

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