Special Report

50 Ways American Life Has Changed in the Last Decade

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33. People don’t have to know how to spell

Whether you’re writing an email on your computer or texting, auto-correct is there to save the day. Sometimes, however, the feature fails, as it’s not programmed to understand the meaning of a sentence — and the consequences can be absurd. For example: “And I will supply the Diet Coke 🙂 an[d] I’ll give you HIV too.” HIV was supposed to be “hug.”

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34. People freak out when the Wi-Fi signal is weak

Some people may argue that there is no worse feeling than that of the Wi-Fi not working. We’ve all been there, right? Losing wireless connection is a nightmare, or it certainly feels like that. The reason may be that people are simply too used to being connected all the time, but it can also be scientific. People with fear of missing out, or FOMO — feeling anxious because you think you’re missing a social experience — feel more extreme emotions when digital technology fails, according to a 2018 British study.

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35. Privacy is non-existent

There is no such thing as a free lunch. You don’t pay actual money to create a social media account, but you pay with your privacy. It’s no secret anymore that companies are profiting from every bit of information a person chooses to share online. Personal details from professional history to how many friends one has are being collected, analyzed, and sold. You may think you’re just sharing with friends but, in fact, you’re sharing with data miners.

36. Anyone can become a celebrity

Instagram was launched in October 2010 and since then it has revolutionized the way a person can become a celebrity. It seemingly takes no effort, just a lot of posting in order to gather a large following. A person with access to a huge audience is now called an influencer and gains celebrity status.

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37. Flying is a lot more uncomfortable

Even before coronavirus-related restrictions, air travel has turned from an adventure to an endurance. Rising fuel prices have pushed up the prices of plane tickets. And if that’s not enough, you often feel like you have to pay extra for a few perks, including a decent seat. Airlines are trying to increase profits by squeezing more people onto a plane and that happens by adding more seats. Less legroom is now the norm. The distance between rows in economy class has gone from as many as 35 inches to as little as 28 inches.

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