In the last 20 years, how has technology evolved – and how has it affected us?

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on March 10, 2022

  • Technology has dramatically impacted our communities and daily lives since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
  • Here’s a summary of the technology revolution in the 21st century, from cellphones to social media to healthcare.

The dot-com bubble burst a little over 20 years ago, sending many tech companies’ prices tumbling. Some businesses, such as Amazon, were able to swiftly cover their losses, while many others were left in ruins. Technology has evolved in many ways in the two decades after the accident.

Today, there are far more individuals online than there were before the turn of the millennium. In terms of broadband connectivity, just half of all Americans had it at home in 2000. That percentage has now risen to above 90%.

On a worldwide basis, a similar increase can be witnessed; in 2000, fewer than 7% of the world’s population was online; now, over half of the world’s population has an internet connection. Cellphone usage follows a similar pattern. There were 740 million cell phone subscribers globally at the start of the 2000s. That figure has already crossed 8 billion, implying that there are now more telephones on the planet than humans.

Technology was getting more personal and portable at the same time. In 2001, Apple released the first iPod, and six years later, the iPhone, ushering in a new era of personal technology. As a result of these advances, technology now affects practically every aspect of our lives.

Technology was getting more personal and portable at the same time. In 2001, Apple released the first iPod, and six years later, the iPhone, ushering in a new era of personal technology. As a result of these advances, technology now affects practically every aspect of our lives.

Media and the consumption of media

How and where we consume media has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Many IT companies in the early 2000s were still focused on improving professional communication through enhanced bandwidth for video streaming and other forms of media consumption that are now commonplace.

Others followed in the footsteps of those who sought to broaden their media options outside established venues. As more individuals went online, early tech pioneers like PlanetOut provided an outlet and alternative media source for LGBTQIA populations.

Following these early new media possibilities, new communities, and alternative media, social media exploded in popularity. In 2004, there were less than 1 million Myspace users, and Facebook had yet to be founded. By 2018, Facebook had 2.26 billion members, with other social media platforms gaining hundreds of millions of users.

While these new online communities and communication channels have provided excellent platforms for alternative perspectives, their greater use has also resulted in a rise in misinformation and division.

Green technology and climate change

Many experts now believe that technological advancements will take us to a carbon-free planet. Though climate change is receiving fresh attention now, these efforts to find a solution through technology are not new. Following the recession in 2001, green technology provided a new investment opportunity for tech investors, resulting in a surge of investment in renewable energy start-ups such as Bloom Energy, a Technology Pioneer in 2010.

Tech start-ups have only increased their environmental emphasis over the last two decades. To mitigate the negative effects of change, many people are focusing on efforts that go beyond renewable energy.

Carbon capture technology has begun to be implemented by some start-ups, including Carbon Engineering and Climeworks from this year’s Technology Pioneers. These methods directly remove CO2 from the atmosphere, allowing scientists to mitigate some of the damage caused by previously burnt fossil fuels.

Food system innovation is another growing field for new digital companies today. Many companies, such as Aleph Farms and Air Protein, are developing meat and dairy replacements that are far more environmentally friendly than their traditional equivalents.

Healthcare and biotechnology

A biotech boom that began in the mid-1990s also came to a head in the early 2000s. Many companies concentrated their efforts on expanding biotechnologies through improved technological research.

While many IT companies continue to focus on illness and treatment research, others have shifted their attention to healthcare delivery. In recent years, telehealth has become more popular, with several emerging tech companies extending virtual healthcare solutions. Individuals are receiving healthcare using new technologies like virtual visits and chatbots, especially during Covid-19.

In addition, several businesses are concentrating their healthcare technology on patients rather than physicians. Ada, a symptom checker app, for example, was originally intended for doctors but has now changed its language and presentation to prioritize providing consumers with information about their symptoms. Other firms, such as 7 Cups, are focusing on providing mental health help to their users directly through their app rather than through existing offices.

Over the last two decades, healthcare technology has become considerably more personal, and it is being used for care delivery rather than merely medical study.

Many businesses were just getting back on their feet after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. Since then, we’ve witnessed a significant change in how digital innovators approach new media, climate change, healthcare delivery, and other topics.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen digital businesses rise to the challenge of addressing challenges that resulted from the first group, such as internet content filtering and the expansion of climate change solutions.


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