Musing

Y2K

010101I had a stunning revelation the other day.  In a meer 49 days, it will have been 20 years since Y2K?  Do you remember how crazy everyone got for that? People were quitting jobs, divorcing spouses, stockpiling food and supplies and million other crazy things because they all thought the world was going to end.  At a minimum, most people thought everything electronic was going to spontaneously fall apart the minute the clock struck midnight.  I remember my boss at the time wanted everyone at work that New Year’s Eve night in case all hell broke loose with the computers. I thought this was a crazy idea because I didn’t work at a tech firm. I worked at a small lobbying organization in a small college and tourist town. I distinctly remember telling my boss only our computer guy will know what to do and she needed to fire me now because I wouldn’t be there. I’d be in another state with my family that night. She got mad but then the rest of the organization agreed with me and she didn’t have a leg to stand on.  Of course, everyone else was yes ma’aming all the way until I stood up to her foolishness. Some people (Insert eye roll here).

Now, look at us. Twenty years later and nothing has happened.  No computers spontaneously combusted. Everything trucked along just like it had and time has marched on.  And, in those 20 years, I’d say we are more tethered to technology than ever before.  Wouldn’t it be hilarious (and I mean that in the ironic sense) if all hell broke loose on at midnight on this New Year’s Eve?  What if everyone got it wrong and it wasn’t Y2K we needed to worry about but 2020.  Can you imagine the reactions?  We didn’t have smartphones back then only regular cell phones. I can’t remember if we had text messaging.  We didn’t use a GPS in our car to find our way.  We printed out maps and directions from Mapquest or used a good old fashioned paper map.  In 2000, people still carried a checkbook and cash as well as credit cards – forget about Apple pay.  And, smart houses and devices like Nest and Ring – they were just a dream.

A few months ago Facebook and Instagram shut down for the afternoon and everyone lost their minds. Can you imagine if everything, all technology, the whole network went down just for an afternoon?  Holy Moses, there would be riots in the streets. I’m not a person who likes to watch the world burn but I have to admit the whole idea of everything shutting down for a day interests me from a sociological observational standpoint.

So, what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Any plans?  Me, I’ll be with my family. I won’t be doing the same things I was doing 20 years ago as our family has changed but I’ll still be with them. It will be a night well spent.

Photo Credit: I lifted this off the internet. I searched free computer code image. This is what I got. If it belongs to you let me know, I will credit you or take it down. I’m using it under fair use. No copyright infringement intended. I’m broke so don’t sue me. I write this for free.

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One thought on “Y2K

  1. There is a subset of our society who lives from one Armageddon to another. For some, the bogeyman is technology. For some it is politics. For some it is vaccines or medicine. For some it is the weather. It’s all generally ridiculous. The world is not that fragile, and thankfully the human race has another subset – engineers and innovators – who live to cushion societies from potential ruin.

    The only time in my life that I went into bona fide prepper mode was before the financial crisis. I had left my job at an investment bank a couple years earlier to work as a government economist. I had been in endless backroom meetings (starting in late 2007) trying to salvage the state’s investment portfolio, and the more I learned about parts of the markets that were collapsing, the more freaked out I became. I started going to blogs and chat sites for people in finance, and it was only more terrifying. Before the stock market imploded (late 2008), I had cashed out everything we had in savings, had withdrawn money from the bank in case ATMs did not work, and I had a deep freeze packed to door with meat and vegetables. I was legit ready for the end of the world. Now I kind of wish I had not panicked but instead bought Citigroup when it was a penny stock. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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