The 2000s: A New Reality Premieres Sunday

Known as the turn of the century, the age of technology and pop culture, and the war on terror, the 2000s transformed reality. In NGC’s two-part series The 2000s, we reflect on what feels like yesterday with a major throwback on our recent history with the help of eyewitnesses, celebrities, and politicians. Check out these five highlights from chapter one of a new reality, a decade of newness.

1. New Concerns 

NEW YORK, NY - September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

(photo credit:  public domain)

The 2000s started off with the tragedy of 9/11. Shaken, fearful, and devastated, the United States was in a mode of panic as the friendly skies became restricted and mistrusted. But unrest continued with worries from Hurricane Katrina, climate change, the Enron and Lehman Brothers scandals, and housing bubble.

2. New Technology 

NEW YORK, NY -  A billboard for the widely popular Apple iPod in New York. (photo credit:  Richard Levine/Demotix/Corbis)

The 2000s brought breakthroughs in technology and media. Apple changed the way we enjoy entertainment with the iPod and later, revolutionized the way we communicate and receive information with the iPhone. Now, users can connect with the rest of the world in real time and news became trending live events. With YouTube and Facebook came stronger information and personal accounts; citizen journalism was born.

3. New Divides

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - US Marines from the 3rd Batallion, 4th Regiment are the first American troops to reach the center of Baghdad. They're the first to take down a statue of Saddam in front of the Palestine hotel on April 9, 2003.  (photo credit:  © Christophe Calais/Corbis)

The Iraq War was a huge defining part of the 2000s. The war on terror led to years of violence, conflict, and frustration as the U.S. fought against threats of nuclear weapons, terrorist leaders, and opposition from anti-war activists back at home. This controversial war created a strong political and social divide that would play a part in the 2008 election.

4. New Culture


The 2000s can be remembered for its celebrity-driven pop culture. Ozzy Osbourne opened his family’s home to millions with a reality show and viewers enjoyed watching their humorous, dysfunctional, average yet lavish lifestyle. Over the decade, celebrities and reality TV continued to gain public attention whether it be with scandalous rehab stories, wardrobe malfunctions, or competitive survival shows. TMZ, MTV, and bloggers ruled the gossip and entertainment world.

5. New Normal 

TAMPA, FLA. - Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The rally was the first stop on a three-day campaign swing for Obama who hadn't been to the state since last Fall. (photo credit:  Orjan F. Ellingvag/Dagens Naringsliv/Corbis)

Obama won the 2008 presidential election and became the first African American president in the United States. His campaign focused on hope and progress. While the 2000s was marked with fear and conflict, it also was the beginning of massive change. Technological, political, and social advancements led to a new way of life and a new normal.

 Be sure to tune in for the premiere of The 2000s: A New Reality Sunday at 9/8c on NGC.