This was so scandalous back then and hurt her career. Nowadays, I don't think anyone would really care all that much...but the tweets would have poured in and I could picture the video having millions of views with endless retweets.
Right after it happened, the camera cut to Justin Timberlake, Spears' somewhat recent ex-boyfriend at the time. He had a reaction that would have been meme'd into another galaxy. Heck, we still use it today.
The puns would've created a "report pun" function on Twitter. Hopefully electing celebrities will remain in the early 2000s, right?
6.After France declined to support the US war on Iraq, certain disgruntled Americans decided to rename french fries into freedom fries in their anger. Yes, it was a very real thing, and even at the time, other Americans made fun of people who tried to make the name-change stick.
I can see the hashtag #SayFreedomFries and I am cringing. I couldn't imagine refusing to shove fries in my face because a restaurant labeled them as "french fries" on the menu.
7.At a German hotel in 2002, singer Michael Jackson dangled his son, Prince Michael II, off the balcony for the paparazzi to see. It was a terrifying moment and would have enraged Twitter users to the point of demanding that Jackson have his children taken away.
Jackson's name was steeped in controversy during this era, and for a lot of people it was the moment they had lost all respect for him.
This was beyond controversial back then, especially because second lady Lynne Cheney had been critical of the rapper. People would've been tweeting their outrage at Eminem's not-so-subtle song lyrics about Dick's most recent heart attack: "I know that you got a job, Ms. Cheney, but your husband's heart problem's complicating."
Everyone at the time was buzzing about how the "nice baking and crafting woman" was the face of a big crime. Many tweets would've been poking fun, but I imagine the majority would've been stunned. If anything, it seemed to help Martha going forward and she has stayed out of trouble for the most part.
11.In 2001, Tiger Woods won his fourth straight major, coining the phrase the "Tiger Slam" in golf circles. This guy was the Elvis of the sports world. Everyone was obsessed and the massive crowds that followed him during tournaments were like something you'd see for a rock band.
There hasn't been that type of hype around a single athlete since. Seriously, not even Tom Brady or LeBron James garnered the type of god-tier public status Tiger had in the early 2000s. If you thought Twitter was bad defending Brady and James, wooo boy, those Tiger years...people were groveling.
12.If I had to pick one couple people were obsessed with in the early 2000s, it was Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. From the popularity of Friends to the thirst for that guy in Se7en, these two were always on the cover of some gossip magazine.
People were obsessed and even more upset when it came to an end. Since some can't seem to mind their own business, all the Aniston-Pitt divorce tweets would have drawn a line in the sand.
13.Throughout the early 2000s, things were ALL Paris. Paris Hilton was a popular figure and was a major focus of celeb culture. From her TV show, a leaked sex tape, and all kinds of party shenanigans, she was always a headliner in celeb news and I couldn't pin it down to just one moment.
I imagine if she had a Twitter presence back then, she would have been the most-followed celeb on the site (that didn't exist yet).
It would've been interesting if Twitter's existence would have changed the perspective people had, leading to them coming to Janet's aid...or would it have amplified the vile and seemingly unnecessary criticism of Janet?
15.In 2000, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first Harry Potter book released in the US simultaneously with the UK. The hype around the Potter franchise hitting the big screen had begun and the books hitting the States were already the "it" read for children and young adults.
Pottermania was in full swing, and honestly, no other book series has touched it as far as splendid hardcover release parties at book shops. However, Twitter would have been a mess of spoilers. And younger me would've wondered why Cedric Diggory was trending so much.
16.Much like "All Things Paris Hilton," I had to do the same for one other celeb. Throughout the early 2000s, Britney Spears might have been the most-talked about celeb, period. People would not leave Britney Spears alone. Whether it was about a performance deemed controversial or who she was dating, she had become a bull's-eye for tabloids.
A lot of different women were targeted by paparazzi and tabloids in the early 2000s, but no other celeb seemed to be dealt the damage Spears had to endure. Twitter could've amplified that, or maybe more people would've come to her defense.
The images themselves would have been meme material...or maybe it would have just been people supporting Elmo's cause!
19.Richard Hatch won $1M onSurvivor, the first show to award $1M that wasn't just a simple game show, but a must-watch reality competition. It was trailblazing TV, and many competition-based reality shows still copy the format to this day.
Much like American Idol, a show with voting would've had plenty of people tweeting out who they would have voted out. Hatch also became a topic of conversation after winning the $1 million.
Did any of these moments stand out to you in the early 2000s? Were you even alive for them? Comment below!