Newspaper Article from 2000 Predicts the “Internet May be Just a Passing Fad” – How Wrong They Were!

In December 2000, the Daily Mail published a now-viral article with the headline “Internet ‘may be just a passing fad as millions give up on it’.”

The piece, written by science correspondent James Chapman, cited research from a panel called Virtual Society claiming that people were increasingly bored and alienated by the internet.

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The Internet in 2000: Slow, Expensive, and Frustrating

Back in 2000, the internet was a vastly different experience compared to today. Dial-up connections were slow, often taking minutes to load a single web page.

Internet access was also expensive, with users paying by the minute or hour on top of flat monthly fees. Many people found the internet to be a frustrating and time-consuming novelty rather than a useful tool.

Bold Predictions and Flawed Research

The Virtual Society panel claimed that millions of people were giving up on the internet altogether, finding it too fiddly and email too much of an administrative burden.

However, their research methodology and sample size were not disclosed, casting doubt on the validity of their conclusions.

The Internet Revolution: From Novelty to Necessity

Despite the Daily Mail article’s pessimistic predictions, the internet has become an integral part of modern life. With the widespread adoption of broadband in the early 2000s, internet speeds increased dramatically and costs decreased.

Today, over 5 billion people worldwide use the internet for communication, entertainment, education, and commerce. The internet has revolutionized industries, transformed social interactions, and reshaped the global economy.

Reactions and Reflections from Reddit Users

The viral Reddit post featuring the Daily Mail article has sparked a lively discussion among users, with many finding humor in the article’s misguided predictions. Here are some notable comments:

  1. “My dad always said CD’s were a fad and stuck to vinyl. He was right I guess but it took about 40 years for him to win that argument”
  2. “I remember back in 2002-2003. I was in my mid 20’s, didn’t have two nickels to rub together. I told my dad if I had any extra money, I’d buy Google stock when it goes public. My dad said I’d be wasting my money because the internet is a fad.”
  3. “To be fair, dial-up internet was kinda a pain in the ass! It was frustratingly slow and made ‘surfing the web’ quite an irritating affair 😅 Then broadband became widespread and things were never the same again.”
  4. “Reading this through my phone is wild”
  5. “Wow, reading this in 2024 is crazy”

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