Well, it turns out we’re living in it. Right now.
Remember all those articles published around the turn of the century? Everyone was unsure how we’d refer to the 2000s, what with how the 1990s were so easily labeled the “nineties” and the 1980s the “eighties.” You get the idea.
Well here we are in 2013, and we still don’t have a common phrase to describe the era we’re living in. The reason? Most likely the phrase that will endure to describe this past decade will be unrelated to a set number of years. It may be similar to “the bronze age” or “the age of discovery” or “the industrial age,” a phrase that encapsulates the predominant theme of the time instead of the numerical years.
Expect the phrase to relate to how we interact with the world nowadays. I suspect we’re living in “the digital age.”
Why? Advertisers (those people who spend their lives tinkering with how to define everything in a way that reaches everyone) have realized that nowadays most people are reached through the digital world.
Mobile phones, tablets, online displays, social media—this is how people interact in 2013. Or how most people in the 21-34 demographic do, anyway. Seems like the type of shows you see on TV, as well as the type of movies playing at the cinema (and the type of magazines on the newsstand, et cetera) are being targeted to a younger and younger demographic. Didn’t people have 49 years of relevance, not too long ago? They still do, actually, but more on that later…
Here’s a thought: maybe by the year 2020, we’ll have a proper moniker for the era that encapsulates both the year and the age group advertisers are zoning in on the most.