Culture  /  Digital History

Y2K @ 20

For millennials, Y2K felt like an apocalypse. Twenty years later, we’re still anxious.

Anxiety about the millennium created millennial anxiety. There was a problem with the computers. Or was there? The people who warned us were wrong. Or were they? They told us the elevators would crash and the planes would fall straight out of the sky. Whatever money your parents had saved would be deleted when the bank accounts were erased. Hackers would exploit the chaos. Viruses would shut down the few computers that remained. Slot machines would barf up all their coins — all because computers were only required to record the last two digits of the year. That New Year’s Eve, no one knew if the clocks would click over from 1999 to 2000 … or to 1900. Billions of dollars were spent to save our future. This was 20 years ago now, yet it marked a generation of young people forever.