And by “the internet” I mean, the REAL internet. The wait-a-whole-minute-for-a-picture-to-load internet?
Yeah you do.
You remember seeing boatloads of those AOL discs lying around in every single computer store in the mall? You remember the computer telling you “You’ve got mail!”?
Yeah, you remember.
Come with us as we take a walk down memory lane, circa 1997 thru 2003.
5. The unmistakable sound of dial-up modems
It screamed. It beeped. It chirped.
The internet used to come to you over your land line, and that series of unmistakeable and bizarre sounds always came with it.
And there we would be, waiting in anticipation to see the screen show us that we had actually logged in and were now online.
But often, it didn’t. And you’d have to do it all over again.
So we did. Over and over and over…
4. Get ALL the CDs in the mail
AOL knew where you lived and they were absolutely determined to have you use their internet service.
“1000 Hours Free!”
“Sign Up Now!”
“We’ll Find You If You Don’t!”
Okay, I made that last one up, but we all remember that the CDs would come and they wouldn’t stop until we signed up.
And guess what? You won AOL! Are you happy now!?!
3. Chat rooms. Especially if you were a female.
Seriously, when’s the last time you were in a chat room? I can’t remember any since 2005. The closest I’ve got is chatting with a customer service representative when my billing wasn’t right for my ISP.
Cut back to 1998. If you wanted ANY kind of attention – even if you aren’t a woman – you could login to ANY chat room, use a vaguely female-sounding name and voila! You got plenty of attention.
What happened next was never polite, but you know… yeah you do.
2. Remembering URLs
In a world before Google, or search engines in general, there was no way for you to really find anything on the internet unless you knew the URL or Uniform Resource Locator.
(Yeah, that’s what URL means. And you knew that back in the day.)
We would actually write URLs down on pieces of paper. Because we needed to.
Those were the days.
1. Actually looking forward to emails
Before spam. Before Gmail. Before smart phones.
Remember when we couldn’t access pretty much anything from anywhere? We would actually get excited about what was in our inbox!
That was before we realized that email was starting to control our lives and kind of sucked, of course.
But not at the start. Not during those glorious, halcyon internet days.
All those days are long gone.