Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday! Here’s where every week, we’ll reminisce on technologies past and get hyped for future innovations to come.
Today’s subject? Y2K, the tech crisis that never was.
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
I was living in Ecuador doing service work with a planned US return date of January 15, 2000. But because of the uncertainty of Y2K, they decided to send us home early on December 22. It worked out well because I got to spend Christmas with my family and then start a new semester of college in January (rather than having to wait for spring term).
On NYE of 1999, I was in the process of driving cross-country back to school. I was so tired from the long drive that I slept right through any celebrations going on. I remember waking up the next day, checking my phone and laptop and seeing everything was fine, and then laughing. So much time and worry wasted for nothing! Oh well, better to be prepared I guess!
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
I was 13 years old when it turned the year 2000, and I remember contemplating how crazy it is that anyone was able to keep track of 2000 years. (What even are calendars?) Perhaps this was the start of my lifelong crisis with the notion of time’s existence.
I was excited at the potential chaos of Y2K. Were all the lights going to go out? Who cares about computers… are we going to stop going to school? These are some of the questions I was looking forward to answering.
My parents had a small New Year’s Eve gathering that night. At midnight, I left the house and took my watch — the face of which glowed in the dark if I pressed a button — out onto the sidewalk. I knew that all watches were a little off from each other, so I decided to use my own watch to time the turn of the century. Nothing happened as it struck midnight with a green glow, and I was rather disappointed.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
I was 12 when Y2K was approaching and I remember hearing about the uproar at school and online. My mom didn’t really give it much thought, though; we went to the Philippines despite my vague concerns that if Y2K happened abroad, we wouldn’t be able to get home. I was a little concerned, especially since 2000 came to the Philippines before it hit the US, but when nothing happened I was pretty relieved. I’m glad we didn’t waste money hoarding canned food or anything like that!
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
As the end of 1999 drew near I remember friends, neighbors, and what seemed like the whole world, prepare for the worst. Many of our neighbors stocked up on bottled water, earthquake supplies, and canned food. My parents didn’t seem very concerned with the whole thing and didn’t do much to prepare. I prepared by listening to Will Smith’s new album, Willenium, (especially the song “Will 2K”) on repeat.
I was at a family friend’s NYE party that night and stayed up eagerly waiting to see what would happen the clock struck midnight. I was a bit disappointed when absolutely nothing happened and it was all just a big fuss for nothing. I wonder what will happen in the year 3000?
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
I learned about the “Y2K Bug” in my elementary school classes. Basically we were told that all of the computers around the world weren’t programmed to move the date from 99 to 00. Somehow this meant that major networks would crash and the world might end. None of our teachers seemed all that concerned about it—which was reassuring—even while they were explaining the potential consequences.
I was just at home with family on New Years’ Eve and when nothing happened it felt both appropriate and silly that there was such overreaction.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
I was 15 years old when Y2K came about, I remember everyone panicking at the thought that this was going to cause total chaos. It seemed like the hype grew and grew as it got closer to New Year’s Eve. I was waiting in anticipation to see what would happen, kind of excited about the unknown. At the time I was also excited about things like Gushers and Dunkaroos. When it was anti-climatic, I remember thinking what would have happened if Y2K did turn out to be a worldwide catastrophe? Should I have been more concerned? Luckily it just turned out to be extra buzz for the media.