Y2K

Remember how we were all supposed to die in 2012?  The Mayan calendar said the world was supposed to end last year, didn’t it?

I was talking about that with a friend of mine and I made a joke about how all that was like Y2K.  This friend of mine is only 17 years old and his response to my joke was “What? Y2K?”

“Yeah, you know, Y2K, when computers were supposed to take over the world or something like that,” I replied.

“I don’t remember that,” he said.

Quickly doing the math, I determined that he was born in 1996, making him less than 4 years old at the turn of the century.  I guess he was too young to remember Y2K.  Apparently in 2000, 4 year olds had more important things to worry about than millions of computers crashing.

“What was Y2K?” he asked.

“It was this big scare that everyone’s computer was going to stop working on January 1, 2000.  It had something to do with computers switching over from 1999 to 2000 and people were afraid that somehow the year ending in 00 would cause us to go back in time 100 years or something.”

“Really? People actually thought that?” said my friend.

“Yeah it was a big deal,” I said. “I guess you don’t hear much about it these days.”

Now, I may not have all my facts straight, but when describing Y2K I almost felt silly.  Why did we all think the turn of the century was going to be such a disaster?

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there really was a problem with computers at the time.  I don’t doubt that it took hundreds of hours and millions of dollars to fix, but I remember people panicking and saying to take all your money out of the bank or it would be lost forever.

As the nation watched a pre-Ryan Seacrest Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve, we all held our breath and waited to see what would happen when the ball dropped in Time Square.

Did anything actually happen?

The way I remember it, my world was unaffected.  I probably slept until noon the next day and then spent the next 12 hours playing video games.  Life seemed pretty normal to me.

For such a worldwide news story, you don’t hear much about Y2K these days.  In fact, I think people stopped talking about Y2K on January 2, 2000.  People were so overworked and a little embarrassed about the whole thing that they just stopped talking about it altogether.

So it makes sense that someone born in 1996 wouldn’t know about Y2K.  This week’s Memory Monday is apparently one memory that everyone has tried to forget.

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