Y2K, The Year 2000
By Dan Shine
Any child who grew up in the 1950s or 1960s will remember a popular cartoon program about a family known as The Jetsons. The Jetson family reflected the vision that most of us believed would become reality by The Year 2000 and beyond. Naturally, George Jetson, his wife Jane, their two children and their dog Astro tooled through the air in an aerocar, since surface transportation had become outmoded. George worked two hours a day, and Jane had a robot named Rosie who handled the housework.
The Boy watched The Jetsons every Sunday night during 1962 and 1963, and after that on Saturday mornings as it went into reruns. He had no doubt that this was his future.
But life doesn’t always work out as we plan. By 1999 there were no aerocars in existence, except for Doc Brown’s DeLorean, as featured in that iconic movie from 1985, Back to the Future. As The Year 2000 approached, the world had much uncertainty to worry about, including end-of-the world predictions, and the lesser fear of the Y2K Virus, which we believed might shut down computer operations, taking with it our utilities, communication, everything.
Newspaper headlines and magazine covers in 1999 had much to say, including: The day the earth will stand still; All banks will fail; Food supplies will be depleted; Electricity will be cut off; The stock market will crash; Vehicles using computer chips will stop dead; Telephones will cease to function; Domino effect will cause a worldwide depression; Nostradamus Predictions for 2000.
And so it was that the cautious New Haven Register for Jan. 1, 2000 was actually delivered to newsstands and newspaper carriers before sundown on New Year’s Eve. And as parties and celebrations began, the world waited and watched with some degree of trepidation.
And of course, Jan.1, 2000 came and went with it no real calamities or inconveniences. And since that day twenty years have passed, bringing new problems and new fears to replace the old ones. And along with those passing years has come a whole new generation of young adults who have no memories of Y2K. Or even of The Jetsons.