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Technology Has Come a Long Way in the Last 20 Years

It’s the beginning of the year. It’s the end of two decades that have a lot to show. It’s the end of an era. The turn of the millennium feels like it happened a couple of years ago but we’re now officially 20 years into it. 20 whole years of tech innovation, development, and groundbreaking milestones. Do you remember what life used to be like in 2000? You might think you do, but we’re here to tell you that what you’re about to read in this article will turn your face to the wide-eyed emoji (😳).

This 2000s tech retrospective will give you an idea of how far we’ve come and make realize the crazy pace at which technology is evolving. The parameters of our lives have been redefined by tech innovations of the past 20 years. It’s astonishing to look back and see what an average person was afforded by the tech available to them just 20 years ago. Are you ready for a trip down memory lane? Let’s go. 

Apple iPod (2001)

Listening to your own music playlist seems such a basic thing to do nowadays. It’s all part of the smartphone’s core features and not a topic for discussion. If you turn back the clock to 2001 though, a music player was still a project in the making for many companies. When Apple released its iPod on October 23, 2001, you could feel that the tech world was reaching a moment for the history books. The iPod came with 5GB of storage that held 1,000 128kbps MP3s, a two-inch black-and-white screen, and a mechanical scroll wheel surrounded by four buttons.


This is barely the description of a gadget that would make it to the history books but the specs are not what made the iPod iconic. It’s what the iPod represented and what it meant for the development and evolution of not just music players, but smartphones alike. From design and user journey principles, the iPod could be characterized as the predecessor of the iPhone, the iPad and all of the Apple product lines that have reshaped our everyday life. 

YouTube (2005) 

Can you even fathom a world without YouTube? What would your night be like without it? The nights where you start watching a 3-minute video on global warming and end up on a binge-watching spree down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, flat earth apologists and chemtrail enthusiasts. It feels like YouTube has been around since the beginning of time but the notorious video community was only created in 2005. 

Internet video was set free and the rest is history. Videos of all kinds, genres, and lengths are part of an ecosystem that boasts an impressive array of stats. Here are some of the most noteworthy to date: 


  • The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000.
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.

YouTube has become an intrinsic part of modern-day society and it is so hard to believe that it only 15 years old!

Twitter (2006)

Twitter is… digital poetry. You get 280 characters to express an opinion, share a thought, convey a feeling. The microblogging platform is amongst the top three social media platforms to date. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make up the holy trilogy of the past twenty years. Twitter blew up as soon as it came onto the scene. Want to give you some context? By November 2008, Twitter reached 1 billion Tweets. By 2011, 1 billion Tweets became the weekly tally for the platform that kept on growing at an unfathomable pace. 

It seems that people identified with the platform early on and felt a sense of familiarity that allowed them to be themselves. It’s amazing how social media platforms such as Twitter started as an idea, as a platform just testing out the waters and within 10-15 years have developed into media powerhouses. People don’t just post their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on Twitter. Twitter is the place where people get their news, where the follow hobbies, trends and build their own personal brands. Twitter has become a medium where businesses can communicate their story, and message. Where they can reach their audience and build a more personal relationship. 

Recap

It’s absolutely remarkable how technology affects the way we communicate and interact with each other. It builds habits, it creates jobs, and it defines the boundaries and framework of what we call life. God knows what’s in store for us over the next 20 years. If you want to open a window into the future, all you have to do is read our take on  “What Will Technology Look Like in 2050”.