Items That Didn't Exist in 2008
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21 Things We Use All the Time That Didn't Exist a Decade or So Ago

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Items That Didn't Exist in 2008
Jenner Images/Getty Images

The Future Is Now

We may not be zipping around with rockets on our backs, but life in 2021 is still remarkably different than it was just 10 or 11 years ago. Of course, much of that is thanks to the internet, which has weaseled its way into almost every corner of our lives and become even more important in the pandemic. Given how fast technology evolves, some items on this list will no doubt bite the dust in another decade or two, but for now, here are things we use on the regular that weren't around some 10 years ago. 

Related: 33 Products You Never Thought Would be Obsolete

Amazon Alexa
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Amazon Alexa

If you find yourself telling Alexa to turn off the lights, tell you the weather, or play you a song, keep in mind that this virtual assistant was, well, virtually unheard of just a few short years ago. Amazon's first Alexa-enabled device, the Echo, wasn't widely available until 2015. Today, the number of devices that use Alexa has exploded, and you can even ask her to tell you a "yo momma" joke.

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Netflix
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Netflix Originals

You probably remember when Netflix was known for sending DVDs in the mail, not streaming content. Founded in 1997, Netflix didn't make the leap into streaming for a decade. Even then, it was all content produced elsewhere — you couldn't binge Netflix original programming until 2013, with the debut of "House of Cards." Now, Netflix produces so much content — over 2,000 original titles in 2020 — that it's even gotten some pushback that it's too much

Related: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and 18 Other Streaming Sites Compared: Which Is Best for You?

Grubhub And Doordash
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Instacart
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Meal Kits
HelloFresh SE
Slack
Slack
Apple iPads
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Fitbits
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Instagram
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Instagram

The app that has made social-media sharing a largely visual experience wasn't rolled out until 2010, when its founders began posting their heavily filtered, square-framed photos in earnest. The gambit paid off big time, as Facebook would later snap up its growing competitor for $1 billion in cash and stock

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Instant Pot
Amazon
Develop Multiple Revenue Streams
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Airbnb
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Airbnb

For many travelers, Airbnb has become a welcome alternative to pricey hotel rooms, but it was barely getting started a decade ago. Airbnb was founded in 2008, and the founders even resorted to hawking election-themed cereals (Obama O's and Cap'n McCains) to keep the site going. In 2009, just 1,400 guests used it for their New Year's accommodations, but you could say business has taken off: In 2019, there were an estimated 187 million bookings

Related: 50 Amazing Airbnbs and VRBOs Across the Country

4G Cellular Data Networks
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4G Cellular Data Networks

"If your smartphone seems more like a slow phone, hang in there," Wired told readers back in 2010. "The next generation of wireless technologies, known as 4G, promises blazing-fast data transmission speeds." From there, it only took five years for 98 percent of Americans to gain access to 4G LTE — and, in 2019, T-Mobile launched a nationwide 5G network.

Pinterest
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Pinterest

This online pin board for recipes, crafts, articles, and anything else you want to save while browsing the web was founded in 2008, but didn't launch in anything approaching its current form until 2009. Today, the research firm Statista says it has more than 440 million monthly users who are pinning ideas on everything from going gray gracefully to how to make homemade jam.

Ultra High-Definition TVs
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Ultra High-Definition TVs

If you have a newer television, chances are high that it's ultra high definition, otherwise known as 4K (so named because the displays have four times the pixel resolution of a standard high-definition set). Ultra high-definition TVs started taking hold around 2015, about a decade after we were first wowed with standard high-definition sets. What's next? Maybe 8K TVs, but expect it to be a while before mere mortals can afford them.

Dash Compact Air Fryer
Amazon

Air Fryers

Air fryers are right up there with the Instant Pot as the must-have small appliance of the past few years. But this healthier way to enjoy some of your favorite guilty pleasures, from chicken wings to mozzarella sticks, is also a relatively new invention. Philips was the first brand to unveil the technology in 2010. According to the NPD Group, almost 10 million air fryers sold between late May 2017 and mid-March 2019. Sales have also spiked during the pandemic. 

Related: 40 Cheap Air Fryer Recipes to Cut Calories Not Flavor

Smart Thermostats
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Smart Thermostats

Believe it or not, we've only been connecting our thermostats to the internet for about a decade. The first smart thermostat, from Ecobee, hit the market in 2009. The biggest name in smart thermostats, Nest, got in the game with its first-generation "learning thermostat" — different because it adjusts itself to save homeowners money — in late 2011. 

Related: 5 Projects That Boost Home Value — and 5 Cheap Alternatives

Tinder
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Tinder

Winking at someone from across the bar, or even composing a lengthy online dating profile, seems downright quaint in this age of swiping right or left. But Tinder didn't start upending the online dating industry until its launch in 2012. Today, the app facilitates 1.6 billion swipes a day and sends users on 1 million dates a week.

Venmo
Venmo

Venmo

Time to pay your friend back for covering dinner? Need to chip in for an expensive cab fare? You need Venmo, of course. This quick, painless, social-media-savvy way to send and receive payments with a smartphone didn't receive any investor backing until the end of 2009. But it all worked out when the 800-pound gorilla of digital payments, PayPal, acquired Venmo during part of a larger deal in 2014.

Android Phones
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Android Phones

If you're a smartphone user who has resisted the siren song of Apple, chances are high that your phone runs on an Android operating system. Big names including Samsung, Sony and LG power their phones with Android, which was snapped up by Google in 2005. But even then, it would still be a few more years before an Android phone hit the market to compete with the iPhone.

Cheap LED Bulbs
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