For 2010, I am going to compare my life when I was 15 in 1999 to my life right now. I’ll also sprinkle in details that happened in the last 10 years for context. There will be a part 2 to this post that will have more details about 2009.
Life & Family in 1999
I identified myself to strangers by saying I am a sophomore in high school at Memphis University School. I spent most of my time at my parents’ house, where I studied, ate, and slept. I was in the longest relationship of my life: a few months. I couldn’t drive yet, so my mom and older brother drove me places (even on dates, which is kinda weird). Sometimes my best friend Jamie drove me around in his Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition (remember those?). I was still playing football, but I quit that a year later. I ran track and field: 100m, 200m, high jump, long jump. I qualified for the State Championship in high jump and the 4x100m relay. The closest thing I had to a job was cutting grass, bucking hay, and painting.
Technology in 1999
No one had an iPod because they weren’t invented yet (first released 10/23/2001). Few people had heard of MP3s or knew how to listen/use them. Napster did come out in 1999, but I downloaded my first MP3 (Marcy Playground’s Sex and Candy) before that on AOL. DVDs were new too. In December 1999, only 4 million households had DVD players in the US and Blockbuster hadn’t started renting DVDs yet. Most people were still using VCRs and watching tapes.
I had my dad’s old Toshiba Infinia 7161 Desktop that had Windows 98, 166mhz Pentium processor, 2GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, and 56kbps modem (that I upgraded myself from 33.6kbps). Note that most people were still on dial-up on AOL, which is about 214x slower than the 12mbit Comcast Broadband (cable modem) that I use now.