Relive the decade that’s responsible for your smartphone and social media addictions: “The 2000s” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNNTV and CNNgo.
But aside from the possible glitch that threatened doomsday, the dawn of the new millennium felt, at the time, like entering the future.
The mobile phone no longer resembled a brick, and you could even play “Snake” on one.
Surely, flying cars and jetpacks were right around the corner.
But as the following 18 years proved, innovation wasn’t peaking at the start of the new millennium. In fact, it was just getting started.
Here’s a look back at the dark ages, a.k.a. the life you likely lived in the year 2000:
1. You relied on a clock radio to wake you (and not because you were worried about screen addiction)
2. You had five more hours in your day
3. You waited patiently for the news
Maybe you spent it reading the newspaper. Like an actual collection of pages with words on them that you had to turn in order to find out information.
If you were not in front of a TV, you could go hours without knowing the latest thing the president said. Crazy times, these were.
4. You printed out directions from MapQuest because that was the high-tech way to live
Let’s say you were starting a new job at a dotcom company in an unfamiliar area. You could use an actual map … or you could use that cool MapQuest site, which would handily deliver you step-by-step directions you could print out and read!
There are clear problems with this strategy — what if you mistyped your destination and were reading the wrong directions? What if you had the sunroof open and lost page 2 to the wind? — but at the time it seemed so much more efficient than a regular map.
5. Your morning commute could only feature a few albums at a time
Whether you got around by car, by bus or by train, one thing was key: you had to really love whatever album you put in your Discman for the ride.
6. You had no way of knowing what was in your inbox until you were at your desk. (Karen has an urgent issue? Karen has to wait)
And not because you dislike Karen, but because your email was years away from coming directly to your phone. (BlackBerries with push email? That wasn’t until 2002.)
Needed to talk to a coworker? Some offices used instant messaging, but often you had to actually walk over and make eye contact.
Giving a presentation? You had to load up PowerPoint and pull down the projector.
Wanted to waste time? Try printing something with the supposedly “high-tech” printer or sending documents via fax.
7. You had no need to take a picture of your lunch, or the coffee you just bought, or your new haircut, or …
First of all, no Instagram. (Or MySpace, for that matter; the social network didn’t launch until 2003.)
8. If a friend of a friend set you up, you just had to take your chances
Without a Facebook page to stalk, Google search results to study (in 2000, the company was still a growing startup), or a Tinder profile to briefly scrutinize, meeting up with a potential date was so much harder. You had to set up a time and place — most likely by taking 20 minutes to write a text on a tiny keyboard — and then you had to just … show up. And hope it didn’t end badly.
9. When you ordered take-out, you looked at a piece of paper and then picked up a phone
The standard way to order takeout and delivery in 2000 was flipping through the stack of delivery menus sitting in your drawer. And you could only hope that the food was good, because you couldn’t open Yelp to check the reviews. If only Seamless was available then.