Culture Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K  

Jason Iannone
980 votes 148 voters 84.3k views 15 items

List Rules Technology that went mainstream after 2000: Vote up those you most couldn't live without.

A lot of our most useful technology that we use daily, like the computer, TV, stereo equipment, automobiles, and microwave ovens, was invented and popularized decades ago. They're such regular parts of our everyday lives, we can't imagine existing without them. At the same time, plenty of technology that we use today wasn't a part of regular life until just a little while ago.
Humanity does not ever stop creating or inventing, as the following list proves. These are all technologies that, even though they might have been invented, prototyped, and patented before 2000, did not gain mainstream acceptance until after the Y2K bug was proven to be a red herring. For example, while MP3s existed as a technology starting in the mid-90s, it wasn't until the turn of the millennium and the introduction of the iPod that CDs and other non-digital methods of listening to your favorite turns became completely outdated.
Some of the technology listed below is still in the midst of invading every household -- hybrid vehicles, for example, aren't in every driveway just yet. But much of this technology is very much everywhere, something that is never more evident than when your grandmother logs into Facebook and posts a slew of selfies she just took with her brand-new smartphone. 
The technology listed below might well fade away over time; most do, after all. But it's far more likely that they will remain popular for a good long while, and not disappear so much as evolve into newer, better technology that will put us one step closer to making The Jetsons look downright primitive.
1 99 VOTES

Wi-Fi is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K
Photo: Claudio Montes/Flickr
Since 2000 or so, wireless Internet has made the idea of sitting down and using your computer in one place only a silly one indeed. Wireless hotspots are just about everywhere these days, so unless you're stuck in the middle of a rainforest somewhere, you can probably get a signal and connect to whomever you choose. If nothing else, it makes endless delays at the airport a hell of a lot more bearable.
85 14
Is this essential these days?
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2 92 VOTES

GPS is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K
Photo: Alan Bruce/Flickr
Though global positional systems have existed in various forms since the 1950's, it wasn't until the mid-2000's when the technology left the confines of military and governmental use and became a household name among civilians. Since then, GPS's have all but erased traditional paper maps from existence, as it's just so much easier to have a robot voice tell you where to go instead of struggling to unfold a ragged and torn map you couldn't read in the first place.
79 13
Is this essential these days?
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3 82 VOTES

YouTube is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K
Photo: via Pinterest
Few websites have changed the world more than YouTube has. The ability to upload just about any video or audio clip, from any era, has entertained hundreds of millions of people (and ignited more than a few copyright battles, but that's another story). Whether you crave music videos from your favorite artists, feel like marathoning a TV show from the past, or simply want to revisit a toy commercial from your childhood that you remember fondly, YouTube's there for you.

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70 12
Is this essential these days?
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4 71 VOTES

Camera Phones

Camera Phones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K
Photo: Kimberly Gauthier/Flickr

In the year 2000, the very first camera phone was sold in Japan. Since then, they've become such an unavoidable phenomenon that you're more likely to find Bigfoot than a cell phone without a camera nowadays. 

Obviously, depending on the quality of phone, the pics your camera can create will range from basic and grainy to a nearly-professional gloss and sheen. But each and every one of them can take a decent selfie, so why be picky?
61 10
Is this essential these days?