Marko the Rat (marko_the_rat) wrote,
Marko the Rat

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We've come a long way together

While I was out in the city attending to errands, I had cause to muse on just how far we have progressed with the internet. I first discovered the internet when I was an IT uni student in the early 1990s, probably a little over 20 years ago now. (I expect they only let IT students have access to the internet back then.) I would access it either on dumb terms from uni or via a 14.4K modem from home. (Before then, I would mess around on BBSs on even slower analogue modems.) It was through the internet that I would discover the furry fandom (much like furries do now). But back then I would mostly use it to lurk on newsgroups (my younger readers would not be familiar with those--similar to web forums), to download naughty pictures of astonishingly low resolution (by modern standards) and to read fan fiction (Elf Sternberg's Journal Entries were my favourite). It was some years later before it would occur to me I could make my own websites and try my hand at playing MP3s and other music files and had a computer up to the job.

Now, while I was in the city, I was able to check my route on Google Maps and keep up with responses to the silly tweet I made earlier that day while planning a rendezvous with a friend. If I'd been so inclined, I would have thought nothing of plugging in some headphones and listening to some music. All of this would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. The internet was something you used (slowly!) on your desktop. Mobile phones were bricks and the cause of some rubber necking when I saw my first one in the wild. Nowadays, we bitch when our mobile connectivity drops out for a few minutes.

I'm not sure what we're going to take for granted 20 years from now, but I look forward to finding out.
Tags: future, history, internet
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