The world was a different place two decades ago and since then many things have changed for good. Technology is now the dominant fixture in everyday life and many things once done in an analog way, have now gone digital.
1. Wireless Internet
The Internet, as we know it today, appeared in 1991, but in 2001, it was nowhere near connecting the world the way it does now.
Today, living without the internet sounds unthinkable, as 20 years ago, there were barely a fraction of the pages that can be found and more and more people are joining the digital age through computers or smartphones.
Twenty years ago, there were already cell phones, and their great innovation was they had low-resolution cameras built-in. But they were still expensive items considered a luxury. Having the world in the palm of your hand and accessing all kinds of information and communicating immediately was only possible with the appearance of smartphones in 2003.
Although the web's most important search engine debuted on September 27, 1999, it wasn't until the Internet boom around 2010 that it really started to become a web giant, monopolizing various systems such as email (gmail), shared storage (drive), and more.
Mark Zuckerberg's invention that changed the history of how we relate to each other, and is still the main social network that exists in the world. The main objective of Facebook is to provide a support to produce and share content, and came to expand the possibilities of relating and has caused a revolution in the world of communications.
Currently, Facebook also owns other platforms such as Whatsapp and Instagram.
Instagram is one of the platforms that has gained more strength in recent years thanks to the ease of sharing photos, videos and stories.
The application is currently one of the fastest growing in the world with more than 1 billion active users.
It is one of the newest social networks and features a vertical video format that has become popular around the world.
From its global launch in 2018 to October 2020, TikTok surpassed 2 billion mobile downloads.
The platform democratized video creation and consumption worldwide. Before YouTube, sharing videos such as movie clips, TV shows and music videos required a lot of production and investment.
YouTubers are now influencers and millionaires thanks to the site.
As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Memes have become a form of expression on the Internet, being able to manifest an idea, concept, situation, expression or thought in any type of virtual media, comic, video, audio, text, images and all kinds of multimedia construction, provokes grace or common sensations.
Memes have become a way of narrating the political, cultural and day-to-day realities of the new generation.
9. Energy-saving light bulbs
Before their appearance, we had to light ourselves with incandescent bulbs, which besides producing a lot of heat, consumed a lot of electricity (and money).
They rarely lasted more than a few hundred hours, while an energy-saving bulb is more efficient, can last thousands of hours and, of course, save a lot of money on our electricity bill.
10. Billie Eilish
The American singer and songwriter was born in 2001. Eilish is the poster child for music stars who achieve their fame thanks to digital platforms. She became famous as an artist when she was 13 years old, following the single "Ocean Eyes" that was released in 2015 on SoundCloud and relaunched with a music video on YouTube in 2016, at the age of 14, which made her a viral phenomenon.
Twenty years ago, watching movies on VHS was already beginning to be a thing of the past, and the DVD format was gaining strength. Nowadays, streaming platforms are the main distributors of audiovisual content such as movies, documentaries and series.
At the end of the first quarter of 2020, the platform had some 183 million customers worldwide, making it the most important streaming service.
As with movies, music has also evolved in format.
Before cassettes and CDs stored music, in 2001, platforms such as Napster allowed downloading music in mp3 format.
Today, the task is distributed with online applications such as Spotify, that allow listeners access to a variety of formats such as music, podcasts and audiobooks from any device connected to the Internet.
13. The Office (American version)
The American TV series, based on the British one which premiered in 2001, brought the mockumentary format to NBC in 2005, becoming one of the most iconic series of the last decade.
Tablets made their appearance only in 2010 after Apple released its first iPad.
Currently, they are increasingly used by young children who do not use cell phones, but who want or need to be connected to the Internet.
15. Flat screen TVs
TVs used to have a large and heavy design, due to the large number of cables and internal cards needed to emit signal.
Few had the luxury of flat screen TVs, and having one that in addition to connecting to cable TV, also allows users to watch satellite, streaming and Internet TV seemed like science fiction in the early days of the millennium. Today, flat screens themselves are a thing of the past.
16. Electric cars
One of the novelties brought by the 21st century is the use of cars that do not need gasoline to run.
Electric cars are a new alternative to take care of the environment and move around.
17. Hannah Montana
Although Miley Cyrus was born in 1992, the Disney series that catapulted her to fame as the artist Hannah Montana, premiered on March 24, 2006, becoming one of the most important Disney artists in today's pop culture.
18. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi, the world's best soccer player, made his first team debut for FC Barcelona on Nov. 16, 2003 in a friendly match against Porto, then coached by José Mourinho.
Messi is currently the only player in history to have won, among other distinctions, the Ballon d'Or six times, the first four in a row.
19. Lizzie McGuire
The series made Hilary Duff become a pop idol after only two seasons, playing a normal teenager who showed her true feelings through an animated alter ego. The Lizzie McGuire Movie was filmed in 2003.
20. New activism
In the last two decades, collective movements have gained strength, demonstrating that the interests of the majority are more powerful in making a change in the world.
Movements such as feminism, environmental activism and the strength of the LGBTQ+ community have been characterized by creating new thinking in the coming generations who seek to be agents of change in their environments.