2000, the Year Formerly Known as the Future

David Bauer
5 min readMar 25, 2013

For decades, the year 2000 had been the embodiment of «the future». As early as a hundred years before, people imagined what the world would look like in 2000. There is a wonderful set of illustrations by various artists who imagined futuristic France.

Later, once time had turned 1984 from dystopia to past, the year 2000 reclaimed its role as the embodiment of the future. All of our hopes and fears and crazy ideas about technology received the timestamp 2000.

Looking back, it never fails to amaze me how distant this past future appears. Let’s time-travel back to the year 2000 and have a look.

You wake up at 7am on a wonderful morning in early 2000. Dreamy as you are, you grab your phone to check the news and your email. Well, the news is that no one has texted you while you were sleeping and that your phone doesn’t connect to the internet. Because, well, you don’t have a smartphone. Just like everyone else doesn’t. Actually, a bestselling mobile phone launched in 2000 looked like this. You could still play a round of Snake, though.

After a refreshing shower — pretty much like you remember it from 2013 — you make yourself comfortable at the breakfast table. You’re an early adopter, so you have your laptop right there with you to check the news. While you wait for the computer to start up, you have time to brew some coffee.

Time to check Twitter for the latest…ah well, no Twitter yet. So let’s see what your friends are up to over on Face…doesn’t exist either. Not even MySpace. Heck, not even Friendster.

The upside is this: You’re in for distraction-free news reading. You head over to Newsunlimited.com, the online version of The Guardian, then to The New York Times On The Web. You glance at the newspaper across the table, knowing it provides the better news fix.

Before packing your bag for work, you decide to check some email (unlike most of your friends, you – the early-adopter you are – do that before going to the office). Also, you must not forget to email yourself that presentation you prepared at home (it’s titled: «Invent Dropbox before someone else does»).

On your way to the office, you make a quick stop at a café to meet a friend (the only digital certification of…

David Bauer

Journalist, curious generalist. www.davidbauer.ch. Sign up for my newsletter: http://weeklyfilet.com 📨✨