Was it really almost 16 years ago that we all feared Y2K would end life as we knew it? Well, life did change alright, although instead of being forced back into the dark ages of the pre-electronic era, we moved forward (if you can call it that) into Facebook, Twitter, smartphones, reality stars turned megacelebrities, Googling, and subjecting ourselves to frisking and possible questioning before boarding a plane. None of these things existed in the 1990s.
That’s not really moving forward to my way of thinking, but…maybe laterally?
Here’s an article listing the many ways our lives have changed since the dawn of the third millennium. Oh, and for what it’s worth, this article was written in December 2009, just 7 years ago minus 3 months. How many more things could we add that have changed since just 2009?
Things That Changed Our Lives Since 2000
By Associated Press, 12/22/2009
Many things have changed our lives since the start of the millennium. Was it only a decade ago that a blackberry was a mere summer fruit? That green was, well, a color, and reality TV was that one show sandwiched between music videos on MTV?
There were, of course, huge political and social upheavals that roiled our world in the past decade. But there were also the gradual lifestyle changes that you don’t always notice when they’re happening — kind of like watching a child grow older. Here’s an alphabetical look at 50 things that changed our lives since the beginning of the millennium:
AIRPORTS: Remember when you didn’t have to take your shoes off before getting on a plane? Remember when you could bring a bottled drink on board? Terrorism changed all that.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: From acupuncture to herbal supplements to alternative ways of treating cancer, alternative medicine became more mainstream than ever.
APPS: There’s an app for that! The phrase comes from Apple iPhone advertising, but could apply to the entire decade’s gadget explosion, from laptops to GPS systems (want your car to give you directions to Mom’s house in Chinese, or by a Frenchwoman named Virginie? There was an app for that.)
AARP cards … for boomers! Some prominent Americans turned 50 this decade: Madonna. Prince. Ellen DeGeneres. The Smurfs. Michael Jackson — who also died at 50. And some prominent “”early boomers” turned 60: Bruce Springsteen and Meryl Streep, for example.
AGING: Nobody seemed to look their age anymore: Clothes for 50-year-old women started looking more like clothes for 18-year-olds, tweens looked more like teens, long hair was popular for all ages, and in many ways women’s fashion seemed to morph into one single age group.
BLOG: I blog, you blog, he blogs … How did we spend our time before blogging? There are more than 100 million of these Web logs out there in cyberspace.
BLACKBERRIES: Considered essential by corporate CEOs and moms planning playdates. Introduced in 2002, the smartphone version is now used by more than 28 million people, according to its maker, Research In Motion Ltd.
One thing that comes to mind for me is how much computing has changed. In 2000, the Internet was still pretty primitive, and there were no social networking sites as we know them. Lots of websites still had that mid-90s skeleton look to them. Forums and email were the most popular (and probably the only) way of connecting with others online. Usenet and DOS based MUDS and MOOs were still fairly popular, though beginning to disappear as more sophisticated topic-based forums, bulletin boards, and Instant Messaging (the forerunner to texting and Tweeting) began to replace them. Comments were still made via “Guestbooks” that appeared on the forerunners to today’s blogs–personal web sites hosted by Angelfire, Tripod, and Geocities. And you needed separately purchased boxed programs like Front Page to design them if you wanted anything fancy. Many of these early websites had horrible, loud, flashing designs on black backgrounds that made your dial-up Internet connection crash. You had to tell your family to get off the Internet so you could make a phone call. AOL was the Big New Thing and they sent us all those free trial CDs in the mail that most of us threw away. Viruses weren’t ubiquitous yet, and Internet security (along with airline security) was lax. The computer monitors were ugly and boxy, the screens were convex glass things, and everything took forever to load. Windows still looked barebones, and we did our searches on Netscape Navigator and Explorer. Yahoo was new and cutting edge.
Can you think of some of your own? How has life changed for you personally since the year 2000?