Thursday, July 26, 2012

Web Point Uh-Oh

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a customer service rep for something I can't remember. As our conversation wrapped, he asked for an e-mail address to send confirmation to, and when I dispensed my trusty old AOL addy, he actually laughed, paused, and said, "Really? Still?" Yes. Really. Still. It's my one connection to my earliest days online. It's easy to forget just how different a time it was in the mid-to-late '90s, when America Online was the ISP of choice for the vast majority of web users, or, as I told my media class just yesterday, you needed to buy Internet minutes for monthly use the same way we now have cellular minutes. Forget obsessively checking your Twitter or Facebook several times a minute back then -- if you went over your minutes, there'd be hell to pay. I'm old enough where I can remember the Way Things Used to Be enough to appreciate how far we've come, as do the folks at Topless Robot, who've compiled "7 Ways the Internet Sucked in the 1990s." And between stuff like "Geocities" and "Realplayer," they're right. It totally did. We just didn't know it at the time.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hilarious! I don't even know, does AOL still require some sort of subscription?

I remember going through so many "trials" of AOL so I could keep using the internet for free. If I was running low on minutes, and another trial disc hadn't come in the mail that day (which was rare) I could just go to the grocery store and grab a couple there.

We're at the age now where we're starting to have our own Grandpa Simpson, "Give me five bees for a quarter" stories, aren't we?