Media Partners | Contributors | Advertise | Contact | Log in | Monday 27 March 2023

Happy birthday Lost! 11 things that have changed our lives since 2004

22nd September 2014

Share This Article:

It’s been ten years since the launch of Facebook, the demise of 35mm cameras and the release of Anchorman. But one of the biggest moments of 2004 was the premiere of the first episode of Lost, the television series which would go on to create six series, an entire community of fans (or Losties) and its own Encyclopaedia.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Lost, we are taking a trip back in time to see what has changed…

1. Social Networking

If you’ve ever seen The Social Network, you’ll know that Facebook was launched back in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University; initially a way of rating which of the students presented on the site was better looking. After some recoding, renaming and a lawsuit, Facebook was born. A search on the net back in 2004 might have also led you to LinkedIn, Myspace or Flickr, all of which had recently launched. In 2014, social media continues to grow; with Twitter seeing a 44% surge in followers in the past two years (there are now 550 million users). Over 20 billion Instagram pictures have been shared to date, with almost 30% of teens rating it their favourite social media app. Let’s put it this way: if Ocean flight 815 had crashed on the island in 2014, those stranded survivors would have at least been able to tweet about it. #SOS

2. Mobile

Remember the Motorola RAZR? Selling 130 million handsets, it was one of the best-selling phones of 2004. The phone had the ability to call and text, play Java games (anyone for a quick go on Tetris?) and a 2mp camera. Nowadays, smartphones dominate the market, with 51.3 million iPhone sales in the first quarter of 2014. Phones can be used for everything, from skyping friends across the world to doing the grocery shop online or posting a new blog entry. iPhones are built with an 8mp camera, so that even the most amateur photographer can take a quality Instagram snap. With 24 hour access to emails, social media and with thousands of apps to download, the only way to switch off from the world is when your battery dies… or you crash land on a mysterious island.

3. Cameras

Compact digital cameras back in 2004 rarely passed the 5 megapixel mark, but had come a long way since being introduced in the 90s: they were higher quality and a lot more affordable. 2004 was also the year we said goodbye to 35mm film cameras, as Kodak announced they would no longer be making the models due to the rise in digital technology. Let’s take a look at how much has changed: now you can buy compact digital cameras with as much as 16 megapixels for less than £50. High quality has, yet again, become more affordable, but vintage-style cameras have also made a comeback, with high street retailer Urban Outfitters selling film models such as the Diana F+ and fisheye lens cameras. Miss the days of instant Polaroid snaps? Look no further: Fujifilm have created the Instax Mini, reminiscent of the old-school Polaroid camera which prints your photos straight away. It’s already making the Amazon best-sellers chart this year.

4. News consumption- print, online, BBC alerts, apps

Online news sites were beginning to grow and expand in 2004, with sites such as the BBC introducing interactive video features and buttons for each genre of news. 2004 was also the last year that many major news channels used Teletext, pages of text which could be viewed on a television screen and which was often used as a way of presenting news. Ten years on, news is everywhere: social media news accounts, apps on our mobiles and tablets, meaning that news is also a lot more instant, too. BBC alerts are set up in the same way as a text: your phone or tablet will flag up when breaking news has just been reported, whether it’s in the form of a tweet or an online story.

5. TV/Film consumption- VHS, TV, Digital Download

DVD players were available in 2000, but by the time Lost came out in 2004 many of us were still recording the episodes on video tapes if we’d missed it. Fast-forward to 2014 and missing your favourite TV show needn’t be a problem. The number of television sets per UK household has decreased from 2.03 to 1.83 over the past ten years, however the growth of portable devices and online viewing has seen an increase in the total number of hours watched - the figure has gone from three hours and thirty-six minutes to four hours and two minutes. The ease of using apps such as 4OD or ITV Player means we can catch-up on our favourite shows whenever we want, and apps like Netflix host countless hit TV shows and blockbuster films. With over 50 million subscribers, it’s been estimated that one billion hours of Netflix content has been watched to date.

6. Banking- online banking

In 2004, you wouldn’t have been able to transfer your mate that £20 you borrowed using your phone. Nor would you have been able to check if your pay had come in by logging in to the banking app. In the UK, half of all adults and more than three-quarters of 25-34 year olds now manage their money online, and it is believed that mobile phones will be used for a total of 1.5 billion transactions a year by 2022. Contactless cards also weren’t around in 2004: almost 32.5 million cards have been upgraded with contactless technology, which allows users to simply hold their card up to the reader to pay.

7. Top 3 Films/ Top 3 TV

It’s been a whole ten years since one of the most quotable films of all time, Anchorman, hit cinemas back in 2004. In the same year, Empire Magazine voted Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the best film of 2004, closely followed by Lost in Translation. Back then, Lost may have dominated the small screen (averaging 16 million viewers per episode), but it wasn’t short on competition. Series such as Desperate Housewives, House and Shameless were also huge, and 2004 saw the introduction of more reality TV, with The Apprentice first appearing on our screens as inspired by the US version. This year, Breaking Bad broke IMDB records after achieving a 9.6 rating- the highest rating for a television series on the site.2014 hasn’t been short of movie blockbusters, either: Transformers: Age of Extinction, Guardians of the Galaxy and Godzilla have all been huge releases.

8. Online shopping - rise of Amazon, shopping apps

Ten years ago, the only way to shop was on the high street. Now, if we want anything - from a new shirt to the groceries delivered - we can do it all on our phones, with next day delivery. Online shopping on smartphones and tablets has increased by 18% in the last year with 80% of customers more likely to purchase when offered free shipping. Sales via mobile devices doubled, with electronics heading the list of items we’re most likely to buy online, closely followed by books, clothing and household goods. Certain apps take it to the next level, such as the Topman app including an “inspire me” button where shoppers can select clothes from different styles- almost like a personal shopping experience on your phone.

9. Blogging- figures, news blogs, blogging celebrities

2004 was the year that blogging became much more mainstream, with ‘blog’ being picked as the word of the year by a US dictionary publisher. News sites were beginning to notice that bloggers were just as influential when it came to reporting, and the Guardian even started to host a round-up of news bloggers on its own website. From 2004, the “blogosphere” began to quickly grow and expand. In 2007, it was estimated that a new blog was being created every second. Now, there are not only bloggers but ‘vloggers’, too- video bloggers who document their lives on their Youtube channels to millions of followers. Bloggers and vloggers alike are everywhere, from magazine covers to product launches, with some practically reaching celebrity status. It is estimated that some 400 million people actively read blogs, and many industry insiders feel that the power of the blogger has only just begun.

10. Coffee Shops - How many then vs. how many now?

Popping into Starbucks on your way to work? Ten years ago you might not have passed one. The number of Starbucks outlets in the UK has doubled in the past ten years, with an estimated 800 of the coffee shops now dotted around the country. We’re a nation eager to keep awake: even in the recession customers were willing to spend more than £2.50 on a cup of coffee. There arenow around 20,000 coffee shops in the UK in total, so you won’t have to walk far without a caffeine kick.

11. Podcasts - when did they launch, how popular are they now?

Podcasting began on the internet in 2004 and Apple soon caught on to the trend, allowing users to subscribe, download and organise podcasts in the iTunes store. In 2011, it was estimated that more people had downloaded podcasts than used Twitter. However in 2013, although almost half of people aged 12 and above are aware of podcasts, just under a third has actually listened to one. And of those who had, less than 1 in 5 had listened to one in the last month. Some say that podcasting could be due a huge comeback, especially where online marketing is concerned… only the next ten years will tell.

All season of Lost are available to watch on demand through Sky Boxsets, NOW TV, Amazon Instant Video and TV from BT.  To celebrate this milestone, vote for your favourite Lost moment for a chance to win a set of custom prints! You can also take the Lost quiz to see how long you would last on the island:

ABC Studios can be found at:

ABC Studios UK


Articles: 29
Reads: 201811
© 2023 is a website of Studee Limited | 15 The Woolmarket, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PR, UK | registered in England No 6842641 VAT # 971692974