17 Things You Were Doing on the Computer in 2001

The golden days.

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Image via Complex Original
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Imagine: it's the year 2023, Google Glass has morphed into Google Eyes, which allows the company to connect and stream your thoughts directly to the web. Google is no longer a search engine, and more of a think engine, automatically retrieving information for us on the fly. Everyone who gave up on Tinder and eHarmony has fallen in love Joaquin Phoenix-style with Siri 9.1, Apple's always-on companion that moved from the confines of your iPhone to your car, living room, and bedroom. All right, so maybe all of this won't happen, but a decade from now, things will be far more advanced than today. The things we think are fast now, will be slow tomorrow. Just as advanced we thought we were in 2001, we could never stomach going back to how things were today.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," to borrow a line from Charles Dickens.

Here are 17 Things You Were Doing on the Computer in 2001.


Using Microsoft Word with Clippy the Paperclip, the cartoon mutant that always annoyingly helped you out.


Updating your AIM profile Away Messages with a thousand fonts and colors, and asking everyone you meet in chatrooms: A/S/L?

Waiting for a video to ... buf... fer...

LiveJournalin' your entire life to no one.

Creating the ultimate fansite of your favorite thing on Geocities, then admiring your masterpiece. 

Becoming a news junkie during and after September 11, 2001.

Going to the Internet for instant updates was essential for people around the country who had family in NYC at the time of the attacks. In one huge instance, the importance of instantly updated news outside of print became apparent and essential for most of the nation. Also, threats like anthrax were sprouting everywhere, so everyone was a little weary (and some even bought gas masks on eBay.)

Asking Jeeves about "Kayne West."

Looking up cheat codes for video games on PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Gamecube.


Wishing for that new thing called "broadband."

Trying to holler at girls on Xanga.

Listening to music with Winamp.

Taking naps while waiting for Windows XP to do ANYTHING.

Burning CDs.

...then trying to figure out a dope handstyle to write on the CD.

Figuring out how to erase browsing history so porn didn't show up on the family computer.

Setting up your LimeWire download before school so it would (hopefully) be done by 3 p.m.

Hooking this bad boy up to your computer if you were lucky on Christmas Day.

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What were you doing in 2001?

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