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What are the Noughties?

By J.M. Densing
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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The "noughties" refers to the first decade of the 21st century, i.e., the 2000s, or more specifically the years 2000 to 2009. This time period is also sometimes called the "aughts," "aughties," "oughties," or "ohs." These terms all refer to the placement of the zero in the first decade of the century. During the noughties, there were several important changes in the way people live and communicate all over the world.

The year 2000 marked the beginning of the noughties and a new decade. It was also the start of a new century, the 21st century, a term which had been used previously to evoke visions of the future. In addition it marked a new millennium, the 3rd millennium, an event that only occurs every thousand years.

The years that followed, from the year 2000 to 2009, saw global cultural change, but the time period has also been difficult for historians to name. Previous decades were simply referred to by the last two digits in the year; for example, the 1990s were called the nineties. Many agreed that "the zeros" didn't sound right, but there was not a true consensus on what to call the new decade. There are several names offered such as "the 00s" or "the 2000s decade," and a variety of names that use other terms for zero, i.e., "naught" in "noughties."

One of the most striking changes that occurred during the noughties was the increasing dominance of the Internet. By the end of 2009, people had acquired easy access to computers or other Internet devices in the majority of developed countries around the globe. The Internet began being used for huge amounts of commerce such as shopping, advertising, and banking. It also brought instant access to worldwide news and information within easy reach of the average person. It has also become the preferred avenue for written communication and socialization through social networking websites like Facebook.

An array of social changes occurred during the noughties. In many developed countries, there was an increased recognition of human rights and tolerance of differences. Alternative lifestyle choices generally became more acceptable in some societies, and laws protecting the rights of different types of minority groups became more commonplace. There was also an increased level of awareness and vigilance regarding assorted threats to society, particularly terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

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Discussion Comments

By anon951680 — On May 17, 2014

Someone born in 1977 is the ultimate 80s kid. Someone born in 1982 is the ultimate 80s/90s mix. Someone born in 1987 is the ultimate 90s kid. Someone born in 1992 is the ultimate 90s/00s mix. Someone born in 1997 is the ultimate 00s kid. Someone born in 2002 is the ultimate 00s/10s mix.

I was born in 1994, so I don't consider myself a 90s kid, as most of my childhood was in the 00s. I consider childhood to be from ages 3-11, because at 12 I already felt like a teenager. So, I consider 3-5 to be the early childhood years, 6-8 to be the core childhood years, and then 9-11 to be the later childhood years.

Even though a teenager is mathematically 13-19, culturally I think it should be 12-20, 21 is when you can start drinking, so I'd consider 21-29 to be a young adult.

So, Childhood Decade = 3-11. Adolescent/Teen Decade = 12-20. Young Adult Decade = 21-29. And then from 30-59 is just basically an adult, and 60+ is an Elder.

So, I don't consider myself a 90s kid, but I don't feel left out, because 1997-2005 was a great time to be a kid, I personally think that they were the best nine years of my life, and sometimes wish I could relive any of those nine years. 2006-2014 however is not that good of a time to be a teenager, mainstream music blows, there's too much mediocrity in video games, a lot of the trends are clones from the 50s-80s, and overall it sucks. Hopefully my young adult years, 2015-2023, will be better years.

By anon944480 — On Apr 07, 2014

As someone born in '89, I remember the 00s from a cultural standpoint being from 1998-2007, not from 2000-2009.

1998-2002 was the first half of the real 00s. Post-grunge was at its peak with Foo Fighters, Matchbox Twenty, Semisonic, Staind, Lifehouse, Puddle of Mudd, The Calling, and of course Nickelback and Creed.

There was also the pop music from that time. It sucked, there was NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Christina Aguelera, who were just intolerable. At least there was good pop-rock and pop-punk bands like Sugar Ray, Green Day, and Blink 182. Rap gave us Eminem and Nelly. Eminem especially, was just awesome back then. Nu metal was huge then, like Linkin Park, Korn, Slipknot, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, etc.

This was also when I noticed most people starting to use the internet. Although there was Windows 95 in use from 1995-1997, the internet didn't really start taking off until 1998 with Windows 98. That's when I started noticing everyone using the internet.

Also, in the gaming industry, this was when the PS1/N64 were still going strong, but 128 bit consoles (DC, PS2, GC, Xbox) were being introduced in this era.

I think 2003-2007 was the second half of the real 00s. This was when post-grunge was dying off to make way for gothic/emo pop-punk and alternative rock. It started kicking off with Simple Plan and The Killers, and was in full swing with Green Day's "American Idiot". In this era, we had bands like Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds To Mars, Three Days Grace, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

Emo was especially a fad back in this time period, too many people with dark black hair, tight jeans, a lot of piercings, many of them they bought at Hot Topic.

Rap music went downhill fast in this era thanks to the Dirty South takeover.

Most people switched from AOL dial up to broadband around 2005, and MySpace started taking over. MySpace will especially be remembered being associated with emos, since there was a flood of them on MySpace back in 2005-2007.

As for the gaming industry, this era was still during the sixth gaming generation, but the seventh gaming generation consoles were being introduced in this era.

2008 is when the 10s really started. Electro-pop became popular, Lady Gaga and Katy Peary came along. The 10s has been so far the crappiest decade ever. The 00s was the last good decade. I wish I could go back to the 1998-2002 period, hell even the 2003-2007 period.

By anon943939 — On Apr 04, 2014

A true 00s kid was born in 1995-2000. I should even say a true 00s kid was born in 1993-1998, because they grew up in the early 00s, plus they were kids in school (preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade) when 9/11 happened, and most of them grown up with AOL Dial Up, VHS, N64/PS1 to GC/XB/PS2, before the mass tech revolution happened in the late 00s.

By anon942088 — On Mar 25, 2014

This is how I culturally remember the transition of the 90's, 00's and 10's: 1996 = 100 percent 90's; 1997 = 85 percent 90's, 15 percent 00's; 1998 = 80 percent 90's, 20 percent 00's; 1999 = 75 percent 90's, 25 percent 00's; 2000 = 70 percent 90's, 30 percent 00's; 2001 = 60 percent 90's, 40 percent 00's; 2002 = 50 percent 90's, 50 percent 00's; 2003 = 40 percent 90's, 60 percent 00's; 2004 = 20 percent 90's, 80 percent 00's; 2005 = 10 percent 90's, 90 percent 00's; 2006 = 100 percent 00's; 2007 = 90 percent 00's, 10 percent 10's; 2008 = 80 percent 00's, 20 percent 10's; 2009 = 60 percent 00's, 40 percent 10's; 2010 = 50 percent 00's, 50 percent 10's; 2011 = 30 percent 00's, 70 percent 10's; 2012 = 20 percent 00's, 80 percent 10's; 2013 = 10 percent 00's, 90 percent 10's; 2014 = 100 percent 10's.

By anon290191 — On Sep 07, 2012

Attention: 2000 was the last year of the 20th century ; the 21st century began on January 1, 2001!

To help those of you who are confused, consider this. Count to ten. Everyone starts at "one" and stops at "ten"; no one begins at zero. Therefore, why believe that the 21st century began at zero (2000)? It, like everything else, started at one (2001). This is simple math that my six-year-old understands, yet it confounds the masses. Thanks, public school systems!

By malik23 — On Nov 24, 2011

I think it will become easier and easier to form relationships (friendships) over social networks. However, it maybe difficult for people to maintain that same relationship. That's until they have tried doing something so many times without being deterred.

I think people will form friendships differently. They may meet a person online. Find out a lot about them through talking to them and reading the information that they put on their profile, and then go to meet them in person. Then, they may let the person know that they know a lot about them (possibly impressing that person) or they may not let the person know that they know a lot about them. The person would basically have to assume that their internet friend knows everything they put on the internet (or that website). Of course, if either person knows things that were not on the other person's profile, such as things said in a discussion with others, then they would be invading one another's privacy. This could be a bad thing. This could let each friend know who the other is.

But, this is something that I think should not be done because you may not feel that you can trust the other person. Both persons may be doing the same thing to the other.

So essentially, the meeting between the two people may be filled with uncertain feelings and more anxiety than a regular meeting of people that let's say meet at a YMCA basketball game to referee.

By malik23 — On Nov 23, 2011

I am assuming that this article was put up this month or last month because I have not seen them before. I am loving them because I am gung-ho for social networking sites! I feel like for many businesses, the work environment will change drastically!

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