The early 2000s were truly an unparalleled time in history. As we entered the new millennium, the world did not actually end (remember Y2K?). Instead a whole host of gadgets and gizmos made being a tween, or teen, much more fun. Things we genuinely miss from the early 2000s run the gamut from music sharing sites, to boy bands, to My Space, and more. The early 2000s also brought national tragedy with 9/11, and early 2000s kids were forced to grow up faster than many previous generations.
Luckily, there were also a lot of things that made growing up in this time period a blast. Shows like Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer not only kept us entertained, but gave us epic role models to look up to. The early 2000s were also when Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook while he was a student at Harvard — can you imagine a time when Facebook didn't exist? And, don't forget the epic Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera rivalry. You also likely got your first iPod during this time, and it didn't have anything to do with your phone, which in addition to not playing your favorite tunes also took terrible pictures.
The early 2000s also saw the revival of '80s fashion, which in my opinion should only be brought back on Halloween if you're dressing as Madonna. While I'm in no hurry to see the fashion make a comeback, here are 13 things we genuinely miss from the early 2000s.
1Music Sharing Sites
The early 2000s, before Spotify and Pandora, was how we got our music online. File-sharing sites like Napster, LimeWire, and Kazaa were virtual spaces where you could upload, and download music. All of these sites have since disappeared due to court injunctions because, um, piracy is illegal. At the height of the file-sharing craze more than 70 million people were exchanging music online.
2MySpace & Friendster
Before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, we hung out with our virtual friends on MySpace and Friendster. While the sun set on Friendster in 2015, MySpace is still around, though I have long forgotten my password. The pressure of updating your "top 8" friends was immense, as was having the perfect background design, and song to accompany your uber-unique profile. And don't forget the quizzes — I know there are entire days of my life spent taking quizzes on MySpace that I will never get back.
The 1999 epic cult movie Office Space detailed the frustrations of corporate software workers tasked with updating internet code for the new millennium. Everyone was panicked about what came to be known as Y2K, which described a computer coding bug that threatened to dismantle the modern world as we know it. When we launched into the 21st century, it was pretty much a non-event, but people sure did love getting worked up about it.
4Your Massive CD Collection
Before the iPod came along, you likely had a massive CD collection that you kept neatly organized on rows of shelves, or in one of those little CD books. Selecting a CD to take in the car, or pop in your Discman, was quite the the ordeal. Imagine not being able to listen to any song you want at the exact moment you want to hear it? In the early 2000s, the struggle was real.
5Dude, You’re Getting A Dell
I literally have not seen a commercial on TV in years, because I don't have a TV, and I pay extra for a commercial-free Hulu experience. But, in the early 2000s, the Dell commercial with the "Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” tagline was one of the most quoted lines ever.
Back in the olden days of the early 2000s the only way we could take selfies with our friends was with disposable cameras. You likely got one of these single-use cameras before every big event, like homecoming or prom. While you can still buy a disposable camera today, cutting-edge camera phones have made them mostly obsolete.
7The Video Store
Before every single thing you ever wanted to watch was available with the click of a button, in the early 2000s you had to go to the now (mostly) extinct video store. Would the DVD you wanted to rent be in? This could be your biggest worry. And, if you lost one of those DVDs, or accidentally left in the car on a hot day, you could be charged up to $100. I found that out the hard way. Oops. While most video store chains have gone belly up, a few independent stores are still thriving, because not everyone loves moving on.
8Going Over Your Minutes
OK, so maybe you don't really miss going over your minutes on your cellphone plan, but this one makes me nostalgic because it's a throwback to a time when we used our phones to actually talk. Not that I am advocating for talking on the phone now (so don't call me), I'm just feeling old-timey. Cellphone companies used to hold your minutes hostage, and charge you a zillion dollars if you went over them. Of course you had unlimited minutes after 9 p.m., because everyone does their talking right before bed, right? No. These days so few people talk on the phone that now all minutes are "anytime minutes," and you're likely texting 10 times as much as you're talking.
9Paris & Nicole Were BFFs
Life sure seemed easier back when Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie ruled The Simple Life. Phrases like "loves it" and "that's hot" became part of your everyday vocabulary. Watching these two overprivileged besties try to navigate the lives of mere mortals was equal parts hysterical and horrifying.
Ritchie has since moved onto marriage, motherhood, and fashion design while Hilton is still trying to launch her music career. Gone are the days when breaking news included a story about Hilton's lost dog, Tinkerbell.
10AOL Instant Messenger
Before the onslaught of social media, the coolest thing to do online was chat with your friends, and cyber stalk your crushes on AIM. Creating your super cool screen name was a big part of the fun, because who would use their real name on the internet? Hmmm, these days almost everyone. Oh, how times have changed.
The expressive, often confessional, emo music trend of the early 2000s had us all delving into our feelings a little bit more, and crushing on bands that sported the classic hair-in-the-eyes emo-mandated look. Bands like Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World, and All American Rejects got us through the tough times.
The lyrics were catchy, the boys were cute, and they all danced in unison. The early 2000s was the heyday of boy bands. The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC duked it out for our affection, and it was tough to decide who to love more. In 2017 it seems like a bad dream to imagine Justine Timberlake doing those silly dance moves. Luckily, Timberlake's talent prevailed, and he's even more amazing today.
13Juicy Couture Tracksuits
The Juicy Couture Tracksuit was the most coveted leisure outfit of the early 2000s, even spawning an epic exchange between Emily and Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. Early 2000s girls wanted one in every color. If you miss these tracksuits (I mean, who doesn't?), I have good news! The Juicy Couture Tracksuit is back via Urban Outfitters, and it's better than ever.
So, get suited up in your Juicy Couture, grab your Discman, your emo and boy band CDs, and get ready to send some AIMs to your besties. Long live the early 2000s.