7 Products People Made Fun of 20 Years Ago That Are Now Totally Mainstream


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online dating

Who's Laughing Now?

If you were to go back 20 years ago and tell someone that online dating or home security surveillance was mainstream, they'd call you crazy. The same goes for video calling and ride-sharing. 

According to this recent Reddit thread, that's just the tip of the iceberg. We took a look at some of the most notable products and services that people had no problem dismissing 20 years ago, but are now a normal part of everyday life for most people. Talk about perspective.

Google Play

1. Online Dating

In 1995, the world was introduced to its first dating website in the form of Match.com. The public received such a novel idea with a mixture of excitement and general apprehension. To meet someone online? To carry out conversations and make plans for dates over the internet? No. It just couldn’t be. It’d never catch on. 

Not only did Match.com take off and allow interested singles the ability to make meaningful connections that gave way to lasting marriages, but when smartphones took over the world, dating apps became ubiquitous. To travel back in time a couple decades and show someone an app like Tinder in action would be a hilarious spectacle. I mean, the mere act of “swiping” on people is already absurd enough. 


2. YouTube

It’s actually pretty wild to think that YouTube only came out in 2005. Founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim wanted YouTube to serve as a dynamic online video-sharing platform. It would be an intuitive way for individual creators to publish and share their videos on a global scale. 

Not even they could’ve imagined what YouTube has become. The armies of creators that we have nowadays. The vloggers that have secured bags of cash big enough to sink ships from filming themselves literally walking around their apartments talking in silly voices. Wild times. 

Razor blades

3. Razors With 5 Blades

There’s literally an article from The Onion that openly mocks prior razor models for even having four blades. Then the markets were flooded with five-bladed razors. Today, if you walk into most any store with a toiletries aisle, you’re going to see an overwhelming number of five-bladed razors. 

Uber/Lyft Car
Wikimedia Commons

4. Ride-Sharing Services

Picture a caring parent 20 years ago. They’re adamantly telling their kids that they should never talk to strangers on the internet, and to never, ever hop into a stranger’s car. 

Fast forward to now. Not only do plenty of kids have their own smartphones, but they’re literally communicating with Uber and Lyft drivers to arrange their rides. Even with the safety measures that ride-sharing services have in place, it’s still pretty crazy to think about.

Video call

5. Video Calling

Video calling definitely didn’t catch on for a while. For many people, the idea of using your phone to have a video call with another person seemed laughably ridiculous — or just plain old weird. Today, it’s the go-to for plenty of people that don’t want to overexert themselves by sending text messages.

KFC Crocs

6. Crocs

Today, Crocs are proudly sported by leading celebrities like Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Bad Bunny, etc. They’re a trend that’s seemingly here to stay; it almost seems like the weirder the Crocs design, the more popular it becomes. But before they came out in 2002 — and even sporadically throughout the company's history — plenty of people would’ve ridiculed someone for wearing Crocs based on how absurd they look. I mean, they wouldn’t be wrong. But weird foamy shoes are the new cool now.

Playing Games at Night

7. Video Game Streaming

Many a kid was told growing up that they’d never actually make money from playing video games. Sure, that rings true for plenty of kids; video game streaming as a job is incredibly competitive. 

But there are certain individuals that now make loads of cash from streaming themselves playing video games. For instance, it’s reported that the leading video game streamer, Ninja, takes in a clean $500K a month