Friday, March 30, 2012

Flashback Fridays: The World Wide Web!

Photo Credit
Unlike the kiddos of today, I can remember a time without a computer. Obviously, this is a very vague memory because we got one when I six, but I still like to pull out that superiority card from time to time when talking to my 12 year old cousin. She can barely fathom that my first family computer would now be older than she is.

I can distinctly remember the day I discovered the internet. It was a Friday afternoon back in 1998. Before taking me to my Dad's house for the weekend as is the custom with divorced families, my Grandmother and I stopped at the supermarket. There at the end of the check-out counters I saw the beauty before me: a beautiful row of shiny CDs promising the gift of the internet!

I quickly snatched a CD and took it with me to my Dad's. I recall being in his kitchen eagerly handing him the CD saying, "Dad...I want to go to AOL Keyword: like the TV said to do." I apparently had no idea the Nickelodeon website existed without having to have AOL.

What happened next changed my world forever...I found out we actually already had the internet. We had some magic thing called Comcast that was super fast. Shortly thereafter, my Mom got the internet, but she had dial-up. Let's reminisce with the beautiful melodic sound of dial up internet doing the actual dialing up part:

Does anyone remember how awesome websites from the 90s looked? All those hyperlinks! All those snazzy graphics! All those fancy HTML tricks! If you don't remember, perhaps this slide show of 90s websites that still exist will help you out. My personal favorite is the official website for the movie SpaceJam. It's been left untouched since its launch in 1996. Another gem is the website for You've Got Mail.
So Beautiful. So Simple. So 90s
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. 
Yes, folks, the 90s were a much simpler time for the Internet. Imagine if these sites are still up 50 years from now. Future generations will be so confused. Of course, this adheres to the underlying assumption that we're still using the internet then. With the rapid increase of newer and faster technology we're experiencing, who knows?

What were your favorite 90s sites? Do you remember your first encounter with the world wide web?


  1. was mine. I never used AOL, so I still don't really know what made it different from Internet Explorer.

    1. I remember! We'd frequently go on it in elementary school. Despite picking up the CD, I never used AOL either.

  2. That is so funny! I don't remember my first internet experience, but I do remember my frustration with the dial up internet. Sometimes that connecting sound would go on forever...

  3. I remember I thought my best friend in elementary school was so badass because she created an AOL account that said she was a "mature teen" when we were actually only in 5th grade! Hijinks!

    Here's an art project made of 65,000 AOL CDs

    Kind of on another note, but did you ever play Neopets? I'm not sure if that was 90s or early 00s but it was definitely a huge part of my formative years since that was the first time I was allowed to use the internet unsupervised.

    1. Ah! I was actually going to write about Neopets in this post! I decided I actually had so much to say on the topic that it will probably end up being next Friday's post. It's like you read my mind. Definitely my first internet addiction :P

      Do you have any memories from Neopets you'd like to share? I'd be happy to incorporate them in my post.

  4. Haha, I really like the link to the Space Jam website. My favorite websit as a little guy was the Sports Illustrated for Kids website.

  5. Add this one to your collection :)