11 Awesome Things From The Early 2000s That Gen Z Will Never Truly Appreciate

by Megan Grant
Disney Channel Original Productions

It's hard to top the '90s. Experts agree it was the time to be alive (experts being me). But if the '90s were to have a slightly less cool sibling, it would be the early 2000s. There were a number of awesome things from the early 2000s that other generations will never be able to appreciate — mobile phones the size of bricks that you used to actually call people, emo music that was dark and dreary and yet mostly harmless, and social media that wasn't yet about posting pictures of your Starbucks drink or talking about how much you hate Republicans. Or democrats. Or feminists. Or [fill in the blank]. While young people today might trump us when it comes to technology and the best angle for a selfie, we had it beat when it came to learning how to type with Mavis Beacon. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

In the grand scheme of things, the early 2000s weren't all that long ago; but enough has changed that it's a far cry from what today's youngsters are accustomed to. Today's smartphones and Netflixing and getting everything on demand is nice and all, but you really can't top these early 2000s memories, as explained by Reddit.


Computer Games That Taught You Life Skills

Before computers could be folded up and put in your bag, they were the size of boulders and housed epic games like Oregon Trail — which you might remember from the '90s but is still available to play today. You'd travel between landmarks like Soda Springs and Fort Walla Walla, shop for supplies, and hope you didn't die of dysentery.


An Earlier Version Of Texting

AIM was a mini-culture in and of itself. Choosing an Instant Messenger screen name was of utmost importance. If you were feeling feisty, you'd add "xo" to the end, because that's what all the cool girls did so everyone would know how, like, mature they were. Your away status was another point of fixation. There were two main kinds of away statuses:

  1. The Ambiguous, Passive Aggressive Away Status: "Whatever," "I don't care," or the iconic, "Leave me alone," all of which of course translate to, "Please send me messages and pay attention to me."
  2. The Look How Popular and Fancy I Am Away Status: "Out! Call cell." The purpose here was twofold. It told people you had tons of friends who loved to hang out with you, and you were cool enough to have a cell. No one had to know it was your mom's.


Emotional Music That Reflected The Sadness Of Our Souls

Green Day, Paramore, and (*drumroll*) Avril Lavigne provided our early 2000s anthems whenever we were feeling angsty and dark on the inside. Nothing screamed "No one understands me" quite like blasting "Nobody's Home" at full volume on your stereo.


Having To Leave The House To Rent A Movie

Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2010 and later ceased operations in January of 2014. But regardless of its unfortunate demise, nobody can forget the excitement of going there on a Friday night to rent a few movies, a video game, and maybe grab a pack of Fun Dip. The only thing that could get in the way of movie night was the jerk before you who was too lazy to rewind it; but even that couldn't ruin The Notebook and a sugar high.


The 2000s Version Of "Clueless"

Mean Girls was a brilliant documentary — er, comedy. Similar to Clueless, it changed the way we talked and dressed. Lindsay Lohan was in her prime, no one knew Rachel McAdams was wearing a wing, and the flick singlehandedly gave us a few catchphrases we still throw around in everyday conversation today, including but not limited to, "It's like I have ESPN or something," "Stop trying to make fetch happen," and "Four for you, Glenn Coco! You go, Glenn Coco." They just don't make 'em like this anymore.


Unforgettable Children's TV

Kids shows don't come like this anymore. Now they have to cater to an audience who had iPhones in their hands when they were three. Back in the early 2000s, nothing beat early morning weekend cartoons and binge-watching The Powerpuff Girls, CatDog, and Lizzie McGuire.


Facebook Was Still An Exclusive Club

Once upon a time, Facebook was only open to college students, and people hadn't quite yet started turning to it to argue about politics or broadcast relationship drama. It was a way to keep in touch with high school friends, post pictures from drunken nights you'd end up regretting, and lament the stress of school. Those were the days.


The Naughty Section

Back before you could watch porn on your phone anywhere you wanted and nobody would even know, you had to be the brave soul to venture behind the curtain that hid the dirty section of the video store. You never actually went back then where you were finally of age; but in the years prior, you'd try to sneak a peek through the crack because curiosity was getting the best of you.


The Phone That Refused To Die

This was the mother of all phones. It was first released in 2000 and shocked customers with its battery life, sturdy build, and how it actually worked better after you accidentally put it through a cycle in the washing machine. Black magic? No, it was the Nokia.


Super Mature Teen Dramas

The O.C. was a new breed of television. Wealthy teens experienced all kinds of teenage dramz, as did their sometimes scandalous parents, all the while being impeccably dressed with perfect hair. Also, everyone was ridiculously attractive. Real life? Not even close. But when did we ever watch TV because it was realistic?


Your Favorite Video Game Console

Released in 2001, GameCube was the first Nintendo console to use optical discs. The games were beautiful and gave us a whole new reason to spend hours frying our eyeballs in front of the TV. GameCube changed the way we looked at technology, and people still talk about the design of the controller. Revolutionary.