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50 surprising things that didn't exist 10 years ago

Stacker Logo By Elizabeth Jackson of Stacker | Slide 1 of 51: Depending on who you ask (and how his or her decade went), 2009 might seem like just a few minutes ago or eons away. Looking back, the United States in 2009 had just elected the first African American president; Instagram was still just a speck in the imaginations of its two future inventors; and Juul didn't exist. Many of today's hallmarks of modern life––from social networks and online dating to preventive medicine and meal delivery kits––have been introduced in these critical 10 years.

Many of these inventions and adoptions have fundamentally altered the course of American life. On the technological side, the advent of such gadgets as tablets, smartwatches, and even home security systems allow people to do more than ever with the simple stroke of a few keys. Norms have shifted significantly surrounding some issues during this decade, too. Online dating was becoming more mainstream in 2009 than at the turn of the century but was hardly as ubiquitous a match-making tool as the practice is today. Pot-smokers a decade ago had to buy marijuana from the black market; today, high-end dispensaries and medical offices in a growing number of states can sell weed and its associated products legally. 

A quick look at the advances that have occurred in recent years also shed a lot of light on people’s priorities over the past decade. For example, it’s clear with the development of some apps that people have had a big focus on saving time. Apps like Instacart and Postmates allow people to have their groceries or food delivered directly to their doors, while meal prep kits like Blue Apron allow people who would enjoy cooking to do so without having as much prep or waste: Everything can be delivered pre-assembled and measured out perfectly. From grocery delivery services to personal technology, Stacker surveyed dozens of surprising things that didn’t exist 10 years ago and whittled that list down to 50. It seems for every breakthrough or trend there are a dozen more in fast order coming at us promising to make our lives healthier, more organized, more convenient, and more fun. 

Click through for a surprising look at products and services that didn't exist 10 years ago—including a few we all could probably have lived without.

You may also like: What having a baby was like the year you were born

Depending on who you ask (and how his or her decade went), 2009 might seem like just a few minutes ago or eons away. Looking back, the United States in 2009 had just elected the first African American president; Instagram was still just a speck in the imaginations of its two future inventors; and Juul didn't exist. Many of today's hallmarks of modern life––from social networks and online dating to preventive medicine and meal delivery kits––have been introduced in these critical 10 years.

Many of these inventions and adoptions have fundamentally altered the course of American life. On the technological side, the advent of such gadgets as tablets, smartwatches, and even home security systems allow people to do more than ever with the simple stroke of a few keys. Norms have shifted significantly surrounding some issues during this decade, too. Online dating was becoming more mainstream in 2009 than at the turn of the century but was hardly as ubiquitous a match-making tool as the practice is today. Pot-smokers a decade ago had to buy marijuana from the black market; today, high-end dispensaries and medical offices in a growing number of states can sell weed and its associated products legally. 

A quick look at the advances that have occurred in recent years also shed a lot of light on people’s priorities over the past decade. For example, it’s clear with the development of some apps that people have had a big focus on saving time. Apps like Instacart and Postmates allow people to have their groceries or food delivered directly to their doors, while meal prep kits like Blue Apron allow people who would enjoy cooking to do so without having as much prep or waste: Everything can be delivered pre-assembled and measured out perfectly. From grocery delivery services to personal technology, Stacker surveyed dozens of surprising things that didn’t exist 10 years ago and whittled that list down to 50. It seems for every breakthrough or trend there are a dozen more in fast order coming at us promising to make our lives healthier, more organized, more convenient, and more fun. 

Click through for a surprising look at products and services that didn't exist 10 years ago—including a few we all could probably have lived without.

You may also like: What having a baby was like the year you were born

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