A science-fiction neologism from the 1980s, cyberspace remained a popular buzzword up to the new millennium. Instead of “I’ll send it to you” one could say “I’ll shoot it into cyberspace” (not unlike today’s “I’ll inbox you”). Individuals that used the term often referred to themselves as cybernauts.
But the relentless change of fashion ended the reign of cyberspace and cybernauts, along with cybersex, cybergoths, cybercafés, which today are of course just regular old sex, goths and cafés.
2. There’s an app for that
In 2010, the American Dialect Society declared “App” the word of the year. Early iPhone owners were impressed by the wide functionality and flexibility of the smartphone, which gave rise to the phrase “There’s an app for that.” Lovingly quoted by Apple fans and despised in equal measure by Apple sceptics, it was the unofficial slogan of the App Store.
The phrase was also accompanied by a popular iPhobic joke “How do you know if someone owns an iPhone? Because they tell you.”
3. I have the internet at home
You have the internet at home? Really? Cause we’ve all been looking for it. It’s ok everyone! I’ve found the internet. This nitwit had it all along.
4. Are you on Facebook?
It used to be common practice for a friendship to be sealed with the words “Are you on Facebook?” followed by “Duh, of course I’m on Facebook” or even: “Uh, yeah I have the internet, you know.” Hours or even minutes later, your white friend-request icon would turn red, triggering a release of endorphins in your brain at the prospect yet another friend being added to your list.
As Facebook’s growth slows and the social media giant expands into messaging, people are more likely to hear “Are you still on Facebook?” Even Obama has been heard saying “It seems like [kids] don’t use Facebook anymore.”
5. You geek! (offensively)
Traditionally used by the archetypal bully of ‘90s American highschool flicks, geek was once an abusive term applied to awkward individuals thought to spend too much time at the computer.
By now, there is no such thing as too much time at the computer and the average techie will proudly refer to him or herself as a geek. As with the derogatory terms queer and punk, to be called a geek is something to be proud of. What was once an insult is today a compliment.
Feature image: Abstract colorful background with computer keyboard connected to the word cyberspace. Cyberspace theme via Shutterstock / copyright: Oxlock