By Jennifer K. Bauer, Michelle Schmidt, Kaylee Brewster

When people say time seems to be moving faster, what they’re often talking about is the pace of change.

Technology is a driving force behind the society-shaking shifts we’re experiencing. It’s changed the way we get our news and entertainment, how we interact with friends and strangers, where we shop and work, and more.

As the 21st century ages from the teens to the 20s, we’re stopping to take a deep breath, look around and take note of a few of the innovations the past 10 years have brought.

Memes. While memes have been around for awhile, they became an everyday phenomenon over the past decade. Not too long ago, people were calling them me-mes. Now they’re a major influence in public discourse. These one- or two-line jokes told over an image can deliver a powerful emotional punch and quickly spread like the most virulent flu. They’ve changed the way people communicate, using amusement to shape public opinion, for better and for worse. (JKB)

Inland 360. The regional arts and culture publication you hold in your hand, or are reading online, was launched in the spring of 2012. (JKB)

Legal pot. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to vote to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Seven years later, Asotin County has three recreational stores and one producer/processor, while Whitman County has six retail stores and 12 producers/processors. (JKB)

Men’s facial hair. Big beards used to be the sole domain of lumberjacks, hermits and Bible characters. But then all the hipsters started growing beards, which they carefully maintain with vegan organic beard oil, some Southern duck hunters showed us that even rich people can have beards and movie stars and musicians made it cool to maintain the “I haven’t shaved in four days” look. Moustaches, once worn only by creepy men who were stuck in the 1970s, became “funny” and then “acceptable,” a trend which has led to a rise in internet searches for “How do I convince a man that his moustache looks gross?” (MS)

The man bun. Also called as the dude bun, the bro bun and the mun, hipsters and celebrities  are credited for popularizing this topknot hairstyle for men over the last seven years. While the style has existed in other cultures in past centuries, it’s made a triumphant return as an alternative to short or medium-length styles. (JKB)

Skinny jeans. Skinny jeans looked like a torture device to most of us who saw them the first time. Only people who enjoyed discomfort would wear such things, we thought, and only skinny people could get away with wearing form-hugging pants with tapered ankles. Years later, they’re a wardrobe standard for all shapes and sizes, with enough stretch to keep us wearing them. (MS)

Leggings as pants. Leggings have been around for decades, but they stayed at the gym or at home or simply poked out from under an oversized shirt. But now leggings are pants, according to most of the population, and can be worn anywhere with anything. Then the skinny jean mated with leggings and jeggings were born. (MS)

iPad. When the iPad came out in 2010, most of us responded with, “The what?” We couldn’t fathom how they could be used — were they undersized laptops or oversized smartphones? Ten years later, kids don’t go a day at school without using one and most homes have a tablet device of some kind in the house, often more than one. (MS)

Photo filters. If you don’t look glamorous in all your photos, that’s now on you. Digital photo editing has been around for a while, but with Instagram (founded in 2010) and Snapchat (founded in 2011) came automatic filters that give an image a “mood,” or, more often, changed a person’s appearance by improving the skin tone or, in a strange twist of pop culture, adding puppy dog ears. Apple’s “portrait mode” and other photo filter apps can create similar better-than-real-life looks. Anymore, you don’t have to look good; you just need a filter that makes it seem that way. (MS)

Alternative straws. The unrecyclable plastic straw became public enemy No. 1 for people concerned about the environment and wasteful consumer culture. Plastic straw bans are being enacted around the world, and Starbucks is set to phase out single-use plastic straws by 2020, eliminating more than 1 billion straws a year. Single-use plastic bags are also under fire. Reusable shopping bags continue to rise in popularity and necessity. (JKB)

Pokemon Go. Remember when crowds of people were running around outside with their phones held out in front of them, oblivious to their surroundings? In 2016 Pokemon Go became an overnight sensation. People who had never before heard of a Spearow or a Diglet were downloading the app for the augmented reality mobile game everyone was talking about. The app allowed users to “catch Pokemon,” imaginary creatures that were hiding everywhere and could only be seen through the phone’s screen. Suddenly wandering around a stranger’s yard and walking in front of moving vehicles became normal behavior. Perhaps it’s for the best that the masses quickly moved on to other pastimes. (MS)

Twerking, flossing, dabbing, Gangnam Style. Unlike the Charleston or Electric Slide, dance moves of the past decade have come and gone so quickly that not everyone mastered the move. The K-pop sensation “Gangnam Style” issued in a wrist-bobbing trot in 2012, followed by twerking, a squat-stanced shaking of the bottom, that’s been around for a while but rose to popularity in 2013, to the distress of school dance chaperones around the nation. Kids, cops, parents and professional office staff were among those who videoed themselves doing the whip/nae nae in 2015, which had it’s own song. Then came the dab, a single “sneezing into your elbow” move, and then flossing, which did nothing to improve oral health, to the chagrin of dentists everywhere. The arm-and-hip swinging move was popularized through the video game Fortnite. (MS)

Vaping. While the number of cigarette smokers has declined, the number of vapers worldwide grew from seven million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. The battery-powered devices have lured a new generation of users, and candy-flavored vape juice has been blamed for a rise in tobacco use by youth. In 2011, around 4.7 percent of high school students reported using an e-cigarette, according to the Centers for Disease Control. By 2019, 27.5 percent of high school students (one student out of every four) reported using electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days. (JKB)

Mom jeans. Through the magical irrationality of fashion, high-rise jeans, once an object of scorn and mockery inspiring a 2003 “Saturday Night Live” skit called “Mom Jeans,” have become a must-have article of clothing for many young women. This high-waisted, ankle-showing look might be a rebellion against the floor-dragging bootcut jeans that they remember their moms wearing. Does that make bootcut jeans the new mom jeans? (MS)

Gifs. Ten years ago, only nerds who created online or digital content knew what a gif was, and they weren’t that exciting. Now these mini-video clips on repeat help us express excitement, disgust and everything in between while referencing our favorite pop culture moments. (MS)

Emojis. These grown-up emoticons that once were the domain of the young, technologically savvy masses are now standard use in text interactions, even among older adults and professionals. Because sometimes your sadness, laughter, enthusiasm or OK-ness about a situation can’t be expressed with mere words, even if your use of emojis usually says something about your age. (MS)

Commercial DNA test kits. The use of at-home DNA testing kits exploded over the last five years. Science holds the answers to the mysteries of ancestry, ethnicity and health, and now it’s available to the masses at an affordable price, unless one considers that cost includes loss of privacy when personal genomic data is sold to a third party. (JKB)

Drones. The first smartphone-controlled quadcopter was introduced to the public in 2010 by a French company. The Federal Aviation Administration expects sales of recreational drones to be 7 million in 2020. Most people consider drones to be toys or flying cameras, but Amazon has ambitious plans for a revolutionary delivery service called Air Prime that depends on them. The service would deliver packages up to 5 pounds in 30 minutes or fewer using small drones. It made its first drone delivery on Dec. 7, 2016 and is testing vehicle designs and delivery methods in multiple countries. (JKB)

Voice-controlled digital assistants. It starts with a wake-up call: “Hey Siri,” “OK Google,” “Alexa.” Then comes a command: “Set a timer for 30 minutes.” “Tell me a joke.” “Read me the headlines.” “Turn on the lights.”

In the 20-teens, people got their first taste of giving orders to digital servants. Voice-controlled digital assistants arrived on phones, in homes, cars and other places people congregate. These omnipresent, always-on listening devices prompted warnings about who, exactly, is hearing what we’re saying and where all these soundbites from our lives are going. (JKB)

Ridesharing companies. Uber was founded in 2009, and Lyft launched in 2012 with the idea that a smartphone app could connect riders with drivers and take care of the payment. Together, they’ve decimated the taxi industry in metropolitan U.S. cities where they took root. (JKB)

Marvel mania. Superhero fever in general hit the 2010s pretty hard. It was mostly Marvel’s doing with a never-done-before shared universe of film and television that began with the 2012 crossover hit “Avengers” and included a multifilm story arch that ended with “Avengers: Endgame” (2019). DC had its fair share of superhero hits and attempts at crossover (“Batman v. Superman” and “Justice League”), but its biggest hits were “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” and the not-so-superhero but financially and critically successful “Joker.” (KB)

Streaming wars. While Netflix introduced streaming services back in 2007, it started streaming original content (including “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”) in 2013. Streaming competition amped up between Netflix, Hulu (remember when it was still free?) Amazon Prime (remember when it just delivered books?) and others. It seems as if every month brings a new streaming platform to your phone, tablet, computer and TV. (KB)

Respect for diversity. People actually started caring about diversity in film and television and, more importantly, doing something about it, over the last decade. “Wonder Woman” finally got a film in 2017. The megahit “Black Panther” featured a largely black cast in 2018. “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018 was the first all-Asian cast since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993. When white actors were cast in nonwhite roles (Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell” and Tilda Swinton in “Doctor Strange”) social media blew up in outrage about accuracy in representation. (KB)