The internet. Boy, haven’t we come far?
Communication has become so accessible and easy. Instead of sending smoke signals, all we have to do is send a tweet and BAM, it’s instant.
But remember the days when Google took 30 seconds to load. When Internet was slower than a tortoise and everything looked clunky. Dial-up was a thing. Who remembers this horrific sound?
The other day I interviewed old mate Tyson Pinney. This time we traversed down to a funky bar called “The Little Prince” to have a few beers and ponder his memories of the Internet.
For those who haven’t read my previous blog, Tyson is from a small country town called Temora. It is quite remote and the population is less than 5,000 people. Tyson kindly offered to be my subject for an interview I did last week on the memories of television. This week he kindly offered to do it all again, but this time discussing the memories of the Internet.
As we sank some beers and demolished some chips, I asked Tyson a few questions…
What was your earliest memory of the Internet?
“I remember at primary school we had computer classes where each week we would go and muck around with a computer for an hour. I remember that I liked Google because of the colourful letters. We had research assignments on stuff like Greek mythology and how the water cycle works and stuff like that. We had to go home and do research about these things and then present to the class. I remember sitting at my computer and thinking, where is all this information coming from? Yeah so I didn’t really have much experience with the Internet until I was about 7 years old.”
What was the Internet like in your household?
“Slow. We had dial up with that really annoying noise. I remember that noise. I think it scarred me for life. I also remember not being able to spend massive amount of time online because mum would want to use the phone. That was the shitty thing; you couldn’t be on the Internet and have a phone call at the same time. Whereas nowadays, when I’m calling someone, I am surfing the web at the same time. Yeah, Dial-up was painful and stupidly slow, it took forever to load web pages.”
What was it like when you first got wireless Internet?
“Fantastic! It was the best thing ever except for one thing; we had 8 gigabytes of Internet a month and we would almost always go over. It was usually because of me cause I’d be watching YouTube videos or something that used a lot of the Internet.”
How did the Internet affect the way you communicated with people?
“I dunno. Like, I never really sent letters or emails. I always used to call or just talk face to face. But when the msn messenger came along, I was all over it. Sending links to my friends and just chatting in general. It was so easy. It was great; I could talk to them all the time.”
Do you feel that the Internet changed the atmosphere of your house?
“Well, yeah. I pretty much stopped actively watching TV. If I were watching, I would be on my computer or phone at the same time. Mum hated it; she thought I was being real anti-social which I suppose I was. But that’s the way it was, there was so much happening on the net that I felt like I could just roam around for ages. The Internet definitely made us more connected to the outside world, especially coming from Temora and all. Dad and Mum started working from home now too. That’s another thing I noticed, that work never stayed at work, it started to come home with them because the Internet enabled this to happen.”
After the interview part was over, we continued to bond of the our memories of the internet, things like msn messenger, bebo, Pokémon crater (a much earlier version of Pokémon go), MySpace and when facebook was first introduced.
I suppose overall, the Internet changed households for the better. It really did enable people to do so much more in terms of communication. Each person can contribute to whatever conversation they want to over the Internet. It has made the world a smaller place.
Here is a blog I found that discusses how internet was supposedly better back in the day.