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Old 12-10-2015, 11:16 AM
Location: United State
431 posts, read 257,292 times
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I was to young to remember when The Internet started to catch on or become popular so I was wondering what were people reaction to the Internet when it started in the Mid 1990s?
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:09 PM
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
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I was a teenager and I was fascinated by the early internet.

Most people at the time didn't understand very well what the internet really was, how it worked, and what it was for....

The media used to say that people would use the internet for everything. Some even believed that people would stop going to supermarkets and grocery stories and would buy everything in websites, including vegetables.

The internet in the mid 1990's required a lot of patience, since it was very slow. Downloading a single picture took ages.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:12 PM
Location: Greensboro, NC
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I loved it. I could surf Yahoo's pages for hours. Yeah, dial-up was slow, but back then, there was no fast internet (for the residential consumer) to compare it to. I actually felt my dial-up connection was pretty reliable and fast compared to others.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:21 PM
Location: Fortaleza, Brazil
2,746 posts, read 4,776,907 times
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What was "shocking" about the internet back then was the idea that you could chat with people from other countries and even other continents without having to pay a penny for it.

Imagine that: you can chat with a friend in another continent without having to pay for an expensive international call! I remember me trying to explain that to my father, and he didn't believe me: "there is no free lunch, who is going to pay for that?"

Another detail about the early internet is that people used to actually add URLs to their browser's bookmarks, instead of just using a search engine. Google didn't exist back then.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:30 PM
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,450 posts, read 4,406,408 times
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I was on the internet before there was a World Wide Web, so everything was text-based. I was in college at the time so we had it on campus before most other people did. This was in 1994. I had never heard about it until I read a Time Magazine article in July 1994 that described it in detail. I was very excited about the amount of information that was available in one spot, and couldn't get over the fact that I was connected to other people or servers in another part of the US or the world. The main social aspect of the internet was the newsgroups, which were discussion boards sort of like the City Data Forum. I used to spend hours on those groups discussing politics or my favorite music, although it was such a shock the first time someone made an abusive comment about one of my opinions - I was not used to that sort of thing and it was all new. It also didn't seem like the real world to me - I can remember when I filled out a text based form reserving a Rental truck (just to get a price) and I was surprised when they actually called and said that my truck was available. I didn't think it would actually "work." When the Web came out the following year I also remember spending hours surfing Yahoo. Good times. Never would have predicted social media and the pervasive influence that the Internet has had on society. Initially it just seemed like a really cool novelty that provided some convenience in terms of finding information.

Here is a link to the Time article that introduced me to the Internet in 1994 and may give you some insight (it says 2001 but it is actually from 1994):


Last edited by OhioNative; 12-10-2015 at 02:39 PM..
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:06 PM
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Before the Internet browsers were invented, the Internet was text based, I believe, and was mainly used by researchers at universities and the like. I remember logging on back in the mid 1980s, through a connection made available by a University, but it didn't seem so exciting and so I didn't try that again. Instead, there were commercial services like Compuserve and Genie, both of which charged by the hour. And if you weren't careful, your monthly bill could run into the hundreds of dollars. Also, many people used an assortment of dial-up bulletin boards. This was all happening for me from about 1982, maybe 1983.

Fast forward to the mid 90s and things began to change. Was it Netscape that made the first web browser? Things developed fast after that, and many people began to get cable broadband connections. Of course, the hardware continued to improve. Some people caught on quickly, others eventually caught on, and some never bothered. Today. it's almost universal. One of the most important human inventions, ever.

The smart phones resulted in another giant leap forward, but that's another story.
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Old 12-10-2015, 04:47 PM
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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At first I was a senior in college and used it thinking I better enjoy it now as I will not have access once I get home. Then when I did go home AOL just became popular and I got it and would stay up late at night talking to guys lol
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:08 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 75,354,012 times
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I guess people thought it was just starting to catch on. I don't think any early users doubted that it was here to stay.

Early internet was not much more than e-mail and a few message boards through a dial-up text-based browser on a freenet. There wasn't much in the line of search engines, and almost nothing on line for search engines to search. Corporate advertising didn't even mention their websites until about 1997 or so, and maybe about half of all business entities by then didn't even have a website yet. I think the closest thing to social media was Yahoo Profiles, which didn't even have chat capability until about then, although there were a few "chat rooms" before that with small subscrberships.

There was AOL and a couple of other national ISPs, but every city had a bunch of little ISPs. Mine, in Rolla MO, was one guy in a cubicle above a strip mall, and if it went down at night, it wouldn't be tweaked back up until the guy came in at 7 am. I recall that in 1996, regulators required small town phone companies to offer special long distance rates to phone a dialup ISP if there was none in the local service area. It cost me a flat 25c to phone the freenet in Tallahassee and stay online until my account time expired, in an hour.

Last edited by jtur88; 12-11-2015 at 12:16 AM..
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:21 AM
848 posts, read 501,607 times
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It was cool but not as revolutionary as you might think. Don't get me wrong, what it grew into is revolutionary. Even before the web there was email, FTP with search tools like Archie and Veronica, Usenet and probably more. Then there were BBS systems as well as Prodigy, AOL, Compuserve. Before the web became commercialized and social media was a thing, people built their own website for personal sharing. Those were interesting and I kind of miss the more amateurish side of the web these days.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:24 AM
35,108 posts, read 41,276,893 times
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It wasn't that exciting overall, AOL was very popular and the fastest dial up was as slow as slow can be and very unreliable.
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