16 “What Were We Thinking?” Items of the 2000’s


Technology grows exponentially year after year. Problems are being solved and our lives are being improved long before we even realize they needed improving. Topics keep trending. Americans keeps tweeting. And every single bit of it is being documented via selfies.

But along with life-changing innovations like smart phones, DVR’s and the Brazilian Blow Out, it’s undeniable that a few of the “advancements” made by the busy social media generation have done nothing for the actual advancement of society and, as every decade before this has shown, the 2000’s will certainly have their own share of “what were we thinking?” moments. I hereby give you my future predictions for a handful of goodies I know will be someday be included on that list.

Nest thermostat

1. Nest Learning Thermostat

How terrifying is it that this home thermostat sends text messages? It’s the last step before the machines become self-aware and officially take over the planet. (But maybe it’s worth it to turn on the AC for my cat while I’m in Target!)

2. Acronyms and Word Short Cuts

IMO, it really makes me LOL that the dialogue of modern teenagers is so cra-cra these days. How totes ridiculous it is that they have no ability to use the English language, in text as well as in person? I mean, seriously, WTF? I’m really not ‘shipping this at all.

Mismatched nail colors

3. One Fingernail a Different Color

Why? WHY? Why is one nail on each hand a different color than the rest of the manicure? The only other time one nail was singled out from the pack was when one was grown abnormally long and used to snort cocaine in the eighties. Gross, yes, but at least it had a utilitarian purpose. This new trend is just weird.

4. Mismatched Bathing Suits

A few bathing suit seasons ago, celebrities started wearing bikinis with mismatched tops and bottoms, and then us regular folk followed suit (see what I did there?) a year or so later. But what is so wrong with your top and bottom matching? Is the point just to show the world that you can afford two different suits and can mix and match them at leisure? They sell them as separates now, so that doesn’t work anymore.

5. Face Tattoos

There’s no way you’re not going to regret that later.

Dyed gray hair

6. Gray Hair On Purpose

Teens and twenty-somethings are spending big money to dye their hair silver? The rest of us are spending big money to dye it back!

7. Gift Bags

Sure, they’ve been around for decades but it seems like lately the use of these convenience products has skyrocketed. Go to any elementary schooler’s birthday party and you’ll see gift bags strewn all over the living room floor. Have we become so self-involved that we can’t take the extra three minutes to wrap up and tape a present for a kid? They are totally missing out on the exuberant feeling of tearing open that wrapping paper and revealing the treasure inside. Not to mention they’re insanely overpriced and you still have to buy the tissue.

8. Little Sodas

It’s been well-established that soda, even diet soda, does horrible things to your body and it’s best to limit, if not eliminate, the amount you drink. That being said, making the soda cans look like Tree Top Apple Juice isn’t going to assist in helping people drink less soda, just buy it more often, and the tiny size just insinuates that the companies are marketing to children’s lunch boxes. And, if that is the case, they should be ashamed of themselves.

True Detective

9. Limited-Run and Netflix Series

So, you’re telling me that, just as I become attached to the characters and plot of a TV show, it ends? Call it a mini-series and I can prepare. I know what I’m in for. But releasing random episodes of Arrested Development or Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, just dangles the forbidden fruit in front of viewers, encourages them to waste a weekend binge-eating, then snatches it away from their wanting hands; not knowing if we will ever have the chance to taste it again. Let’s face it: this is just a way for movie stars to make more money doing TV, but as “guest stars,” as to not lose their coveted big screen status. (I’m looking at you, cast of True Detective.)

Monster High Dolls

10. Monster High Dolls

What was Barbie apparently missing? A boyfriend who’s half unicorn, half zombie. Yikes.

11. Disney XD

Say what you will about with The Mouse as an evil corporate empire, but you have to admit that the quality of the work is usually exemplary. Disney XD is a vast exception to the rule. Supposedly geared toward tween boys, for some unfathomable reason, shows like Kickin’ It, Crash and Bernstein, and Mighty Med, pale in comparison to some of the traditional Disney Channel teen offerings like the well-imagined and witty Girl Meets World. Just because you add the animated masterpiece, Phineas and Ferb, to your schedule doesn’t justify the need for an entire channel dedicated to such inane garbage as Lab Rats: Bionic Island. To think we lost Toon Disney for this. (This does not pertain, however, to Gravity Falls. That show is a hoot.)

Crunch delights

12. Cap’n Crunch Delights

According to the Taco Bell (yes, Taco Bell) website, these are “warm, light pastries, coated with fruity Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries™ cereal and filled with creamy, sweet milk icing.” No. Just… no.

13. Gluten-free

First it was nonfat (enter Olestra). Then it was low carb (Dr. Atkins). Even eggs got a really bad rap at one point and had to be rebranded as incredible and edible. Now gluten is the pasta non grata? What’s next? Boycotting blueberries? Putting the kibosh on kabobs? There’s always something. Yes, Celiac Disease is a real thing, but we don’t all have it.

14. Snackeez

Because having two separate containers for food and drink would be asinine.

15. iTunes

Remember how great it was to save up your allowance, head to the mall (on the bus) and beeline to Sam Goody to purchase the latest Debbie Gibson or Guns N Roses album? Listening to every track, in order, was a way to experience what the artist was trying to convey. And now, youngsters download songs, one by one; not knowing anything about the album, let alone the artist who produced it. Of course iTunes is not going to end up on the “what were we thinking?” list per se, as it is extremely innovative and convenient, but nothing will ever compare to riffling through the movie soundtracks section for a copy of Dirty Dancing or Top Gun.


16. Hand Sanitizer

The vaccine debate aside, the excessive use of hand sanitizer is the reason your kid is always sick. Give his or her immune system a chance.

I could go on and on with this list, but you have to stop somewhere. Note the omission of all-things Kardashian, as it has been well-established that we would have been better off having never given them a reality show. Reality shows! A lot of those could make this list. What else will someday be considered an embarrassment to our time? Let us know in the comments below.

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

1 Comment

  1. Nikki Hendrix
    August 17, 2015 at 1:30 pm — Reply

    I love this list!! And couldn’t agree more! Especially with #3! Thanks for the fun read.

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