A shocking truth recently struck me. Within a matter of weeks, we will have some new teenagers – and they won’t be born in the 1990s. That’s right. We are finally approaching a time when a particular millennial year will hit the teen years in age. I am, of course talking about the year 2000. As it is, there are plenty of teenagers alive today who are too young to remember what happened in this year and so while some may argue that the year 2000 is simply not old enough to be considered retro, the fact remains that considering the circumstances I’ve explained, it’s at least considerably dated right now. After all, we are looking at an era when the twin towers in New York are still standing; IPods aren’t yet available to the public and what’s Fear Factor?

This article is a look back at a year that will soon be thirteen years old and what the year gave us in the past, in addition to the impact it has in the present and in the future. Let’s begin with how it all began. From countdowns, to fireworks, to Y2K worries…the dawn of the year 2000 was a moment that unleashed all sorts of emotions on people from excitement to fear. People did everything from attend celebration parties to celebrate one of the biggest chronological transitions of recent times, to assemble in a particular place in case the end of the world was coming. Eventually, midnight came. Goodbye 1900s, the year 2000 has arrived.

As I previously mentioned, IPods weren’t available yet. So what electronics were around in 2000? I’m proud to say that 2000 introduced us to one of my favorite inventions – the USB flash drive. I was very impressed the first time I used one. My first thought was that it looked so small, how could such a small device accommodate a similar amount of space as my laptop? Of course, I’d lived through a time when people were using floppy disks, so we’ve come a long way when you consider that USB flash drives today can completely blow one megabyte storage items out of the water countless times over and over and over. Another introduction from 2000 that I’m particularly fond of is the PlayStation 2. For many who lived in the 1990s, the original PlayStation console contributed hours of rewarding memories of video gaming adventures and also provided a way to save your game progress through the use of memory cards and even listen to music on compact disc. Well, the PlayStation 2 took the concept to a whole new level.

Anything you could do with the original, you could equal or do better. PlayStation 2 allowed you to still play CDs and play the original games of the former system, but now you could play technologically-advanced games and have memory cards that could store a lot more data. But it didn’t stop there. Through a friend at the time, I found out that you can even play DVDs on the console. Now that’s what I call cutting edge technology at its finest. This was merely years after I had laboured through rewinding and fast-forwarding VHS tapes and audio cassettes. Now we could have music, gaming and other entertainment all in one. It gets even better though…

2000 was the year that launched what would become the best-selling PC game of all time – The Sims. It was an instant hit, winning game of the year, but of course, like anything as popular as it was, you’ll have people wanting more. So a series of expansion packs were created starting with Livin’ Large which inflated the game to include multiple new neighbourhoods and customize your home to live in the past or in the future. My guess as to why the franchise became such a phenomenon is because it is a simulated version of – basically life itself. It has now expanded into The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and there is even rumoured to be an upcoming movie. Clearly, a lot of big things were happening this year. Apart from the Queen Mother turning 100 and the Sydney Olympics being held, one show was to air that would change the landscape of television forever…

I won’t lie; I’ve watched this more than once. The first time I saw this show, it was absolutely breath-taking. Remember, people weren’t really used to seeing shows such as this and so Survivor was a true novelty. Needless to say, the finale of Borneo, the first season; was watched by nearly 52 million viewers, which earned Survivor a place in the Guinness World Records books. In the years following countless reality television material went on air, proving that Survivor held the key for what was soon to be accepted as an established genre of entertainment. Some might argue that there were similar shows around before the year 2000 but it was Survivor that single-handedly paved a path to the mainstream audience. Do I dare mention that Survivor is still going strong as of late 2012 with Survivor: Philippines being season twenty-five, and with a contract for a season twenty-six? How many television shows can you name that have lasted for twenty-six seasons (excluding the many long-running soap operas)? The year wasn’t just gold for reality show competition. One of the biggest international hit quiz shows of all time The Weakest Link began in the United Kingdom as did popular American sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.

The year 2000 was a brilliant year in my opinion that lived up to the hype that it was given and I am very proud that I was able to be a part of it. If I were to make a list of what I’d consider the best years of my life, 2000 would be a top contender. Whether you are fan of reality shows, simulated life or something I haven’t mentioned, you probably have something to thank this year for. I encourage you to leave comments about what you enjoyed about the year 2000 and any influence this phenomenal year has on your life today.