What Do Young People Not Know About the Early Days of the Internet? People Responded.

Listen, all you young whippers out there!

You’re about to get a history lesson in what the early days of the Internet were like…and we think you’ll get a big kick out of them!

Check out what folks said on AskReddit.

1. I’ll be back.

“The need to set a good “away message” on AIM, since it may be up for over a day before you can get back on.”

2. Definitely!

“”Under Construction” banners, images, and gifs.

They were on every page, the page was always “under construction”.

You’d put one there while you were writing the html then take it out when the final version was done, but way too many people never bothered with that step.”

3. Back in the day.

“Before it was all corporate, so many homemade pages, for any interest you could think of. I don’t mean MySpace or Tumblr, either.

C**ppy HTML, blinking graphics, instrumental music in the background. I met one of my oldest online friends in 1997 through a site he made for our favorite band.

We were email penpals for years before social media was a thing.”

4. Useful.

“Yahoo used to have what was intended as a top-down directory of the entire internet, created by hand.

It was incredibly useful at the time.”

5. It wasn’t easy.

“I always thought the biggest thing a younger person would notice is how hard it was to access period. Not the difficulty signing on but finding a place to get on.

We can just get on our cell phone and look up game cheat codes or item locations. I remember going to a friend’s house with a notebook and writing down stuff for FF7 or going to Cheatcodecentral.

Fast forward to like 2007 and I was still going to a friend’s house and printing off Vice City codes and item locations.”

6. Kid-friendly.

“Many brands having child friendly sites that had flash games and no monetization beyond it being an ad.

Played Nabisco Mini Golf a LOT.”

7. Exciting times.

“The excitement of upgrading from a 28K modem to a 56k modem and GMail being by invitation only when it was first launched.”

8. True.

“You have to try to put yourself into a mindset of how you would go about finding things on the Internet in the days before popular search engines like Google or social media.

Discovery of content ended up being due to word of mouth, ISPs and their services, or finding links from other sites you knew about.

I remember a lot of fan pages/fan sites for different things would all have sections of affiliate links to other similar fan pages and sites in a mutual effort to help people discovery other similar content.”

9. Wow.

“There used to be books (the real paper kind) with lists of websites to check out.

This was maybe 1995?

I don’t know anyone who ever bought one.”

10. Had to be perfect.

“I remember how we always had a focus on having to write the web-address correctly since if you got it wrong you got nowhere.

It’s not like now, when you can just write about right and google will correct you and take you where you want.

Perhaps I remember this extra vividly since I was a young teen living in Norway so our English wasn’t top-notch at the time which made it extra difficult navigating the web.”

11. Don’t pick up the phone!

“Me and my sister downloaded the teaser trailer to Toy Story on our 14.4kbps modem via Prodigy.

I remember we had it going all day long, and yelled at my parents not to pick up the phone.

When it finished we watched it on RealPlayer and it was like 12 seconds long and blurry af. But it was so glorious.”

12. Let’s go on an adventure.

“I was thinking about it just the other day… it’s crazy how centralized the internet has become, how everything now revolves around a handful of sites.

Back in the day going online was basically like going on an adventure, there was no “hub”; how long it’s been since I was recommended a cool website!

I remember I had a magazine from like 2000 something, where they had a list of “the 50 best websites on the web”; that whole idea feels so archaic nowadays.”

Now it’s your turn.

Tell us what you think about this in the comments.

Please and thank you!