What Aspects of Daily Life in the United States in 2012 Would Be Unbelievable to a Person in the Year 2000?

From Quora:

Answer by Oliver Emberton:

  • We would interact with our games consoles by waving our limbs like a drunken mime. The most popular platform for this would have a name that sounds like urine. This would become one of the great success stories of the decade:
  • The US would elect a black president.
  • People increasingly avoid the phone; the most common way to make a date is now via text message, which costs more per character then sending data into space [1].
  • The most pressing social issue in 2012 will be fought mostly over chicken sandwiches:
  • Sharing intimate aspects of your life – from drunken photos of you making out with a stranger, to broadcasting what music you’re listening to as you listen to it – will become so routine as to be banal.
  • Smartphones: half the US carries the freakin’ Internet in their pocket. Back in 2000, this was the coolest in mobile tech:
  • September 11th would embroil the US in two new wars longer than WW2.
  • The idea of not having access to a fact, anywhere, would become almost laughable in the western world. Schools redesign themselves to accommodate this new reality.
  • A website started by a Harvard undergraduate – Facebook – would become the world’s most popular in about 5 years. It would be so ubiquitous that a film about its geeky founder would be a lauded commercial hit.
  • Google would turn from a 40 employee startup [2] to a global verb.
  • The US would convince much of the world that re-invading Iraq is a moral imperative to protect civilisation from weapons of mass destruction. They would be wrong.
  • Following the daily and intimate lives of celebrities through posts of 140 characters would become a mainstream past time. Said ‘tweets’ would be the subject of debate on TV, scandal and lawsuits.
  • The US would come within hours of defaulting on their 14 trillion dollar national debt. In 2000 the US was running a record surplus.
  • Popular concepts like ‘tagging’, ‘walls’, ‘unfriend’, ‘retweet’, ‘like’, ‘poke’ and more would completely redefine our social interactions.
  • People would carry all their music with them in tiny devices called ‘iPods’. CDs would be so passé.
  • People would stream all their music over the Internet. iPods would be so passé.
  • Apple would recover from near bankruptcy to become the most valued company on Earth; ultimately over twice that of Microsoft.
  • The most popular books of the decade are soft porn for ladies (50 Shades).
  • No-one buys a holiday, insurance or hit singles in the real world anymore.
  • We would land a robot on Mars using a flying crane; that robot would zap alien rocks with a laser. For science!
  • The longest and debatably worst global recession in modern times would hit in 2008. Combining the 2012 and 2008 recessions, stock lost between 10-20 years of gains, and the US would have their credit rating reduced.
  • In 1999, a 2.7 megapixel camera cost just under $6,000, making it the first “affordable” digital camera [3]. We now expect more from a cheap phone.
  • People would buy virtual gifts and cards – that cost real money. This would not last, fortunately:
  • An obscure website – YouTube – would grow to serve over 4 billion videos worldwide *every day*. The most popular would consist of cats and fingers being bitten by Charlie.
  • Climate change remains controversial in the US, despite 9 of the 10 hottest global temperatures ever recorded, global floods, heatwaves, storms, receding polar ice and 4,000 US states of emergency in one month alone.
  • The US would be without a replacement for the retired Space Shuttle, and would pay Russia to take them into space [4].
  • Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs would be taken from us far too soon.
  • A website built entirely from user contributions would grow into the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia ever made and it would be free too.
  • A distressingly high percentage of people WUD RITE LIK3 THIS, FML. This is increasingly tolerated and even advocated by schools [5].
  • The financial future of the whole of Europe may well depend upon Greece, a country smaller than Uruguay.
  • Quora – a website where people answer questions in far too much detail – would flourish and consume many needless lives. But not mine!
  • People would complain nothing exciting happened in the last 10 years.

[1] http://phys.org/news129793047.html
[2] http://www.google.com/about/comp…
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His…
[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/scienc…
[5] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/…

What aspects of daily life in the United States in 2012 would be unbelievable to a person in the year 2000?

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About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

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