The Internet of Yesteryears

I found this wonderful Slate.com article yesterday talking about the Internet way back in good ol’ 1996.  I enjoyed it (and hope you might as well) partially because I often find myself thinking about how much computers, and the Internet specifically, has changed in just over a decade.  In 1996 I was 12 years old and in middle school (ah, good old Brown’s River Middle School, aka The BRMS, how I hated the years I spent there).  I remember that our school had Internet access, in the library at first, and later in the classrooms, but I cannot recall what we really used it for, or if we used it at all for that matter.  I also remember having a few friends who had Internet access at their homes.  The only thing I can really recall from my youthful ventures on the Web was going to a chat room and writing a lot of swears and thinking thinking it was hilarious (in actuality it was just dumb and immature).

I didn’t have the Internet (or actually a computer) until my freshman year of high school.  When I did get it, it was snail slow America Online dial-up (which my parents did not replace with high-speed until last year by the way).  Because it was slow, and there wasn’t a whole lot I was interested on doing on it at home, besides occasionally using IM to get a hold of friends, I continued my general avoidance of the Web.  At school I could put it to use in the library or the computer lab for research purposes and the occasional visit to Addictinggames.com to cure the bouts of high school boredom, but honestly I spent more time using my schools computers to play with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premier (several friends and I worked or schedules to have coinciding study-halls, when we would get together, with a couple digital video cameras and make strange art films).

Really it wasn’t until my freshman year of college in 2003, after getting my first computer (a Dell laptop), that the Internet became something of real interest/importance to me.  Since then I have remained plugged in at all place where I have resided.  Nowadays, I value the Internet more than television (especially considering I can watch almost everything I am interested in online anyways) and so have not even bothered getting cable.  Been kind of a long strange trip really.  The part that gets me the most is that while I consciously comprehend the Internet having evolved significantly over the past 13 years, it has never seemed to much like that in real life.  More or less meaning, “sure it is different and more useful today, but when did that happen?”  It just kind of did, and became integrated into my lifestyle.

Good stuff though.

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~ by Nathaniel on February 27, 2009.

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