Each year, U.S. magazine Time selects the ‘Person of the Year’ and this is the person, group, idea or object that “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence the events of the year.” 2015’s winner was Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany who won for her leadership in the Greek debt crisis and European migrant crises. This was a relatively obvious winner, but the ‘Person of the Year’ has often been a surprise and there are also a few instances where, knowing what we know now, it is a shocking and controversial choice.
10. You (2006)
Hurray! In 2006, Time deemed that “you” were the ‘Person of the Year.’ Now, before you begin congratulating yourself and preparing your speech, it is important to point out that “you” is actually used to represent “the individual content creator on the World Wide Web.” This was the choice to reflect the rise of user-generated content that includes blogs, YouTube, social media and fantastic sites such as Goliath. Whilst it is true that much of what we consume on a daily basis comes from what we read online (such as this article), it also certainly felt like a cop out and you could sense people around the world rolling their eyes at this choice. The caption for the magazine read “you control the Information Age. Welcome to your world,” to which NPR’s Peter Sagal retorted that if we actually controlled the information age, “we would have picked a much better choice.”