Special Report

50 Ways American Life Has Changed in the Last Decade

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1. Learning has moved online

Some of the last decade’s most dramatic changes occurred in its last year. Until March and April, when schools across the country were shut down for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus, remote learning was used only by colleges. By November 2020, every school district in the country has designed a plan for teaching students online if it becomes necessary to close schools for in-person classed again. Major cities — from New York to San Francisco and in between — have closed schools multiple times and for extended periods, impacting millions of students.

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2. TV shows are all the rage, not movies

Just over 1.2 billion tickets were sold in domestic movie theaters in 2017, which was a 25-year low for the industry. As ticket prices keep rising and streaming platforms keep offering more options — the majority of which are TV shows and original series — the downward trend is likely to continue.

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3. Music is streamed, not downloaded

Music streaming was around before Spotify, but Spotify is often credited with changing the music industry. The service came to America in July 2011 and the rest is history. Since then, several more music streaming services have been created, including Apple Music and TIDAL.