When we think about the internet in the '90s, there are tons of things to be nostalgic about (and plenty of things to be glad stayed in the past, too, but let's focus on the positive for now). A lot has changed in major ways since the '90s, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of technology. Indeed, the internet itself has evolved in ways I don't think most people ever anticipated. As a whole, these changes have brought people closer together, expanded social networks, and provided more accessible education and resources for a progressively growing range of people, all of which is awesome.
Still, it can be fun to think back to our fondest memories of using the internet in the '90s. Now, many of us can use the internet on our phones whenever we want, or have an easily transportable laptop or other device to carry around with us everywhere we go. Back in the '90s, though, most of us used the internet while at school, the library, or on the family computer in the living room — and the limited nature of our access to it made the time we had to spend on the internet that much more desirable.
And thankfully, the Reddit community is here to jog all those fond memories of the internet in the '90s. As is the case with a lot of thoughts and feelings based around social and cultural shifts, many of these personal memories ring true for most of us who grew up with the internet, watching it change and evolve over time. Here are a few of my favorite responses. Be sure to check out the full thread over at AskReddit for more!
1Blogging With Livejournal
Ah, Livejournal. This website technically does still exist, but rumor has it that it's mostly overrun with bots. If you can remember your old login, this is probably the ideal time to read through your virtual diary, though.
These seemed to be more family-friendly and kid-appropriate than random chatrooms.
3The "You've Got Mail!" Alert
Imagine if this still was a thing. How many times a day would you hear this message?!
4Getting Kicked Offline
Sure, sometimes WiFi signals fail, but nothing compares to being kicked offline because someone in your house picked up the (landline) phone.
5The Original YouTube
And while we're on the subject, another big change from old YouTube: You used to be able to "rate" videos on a one to five scale, not give a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."
6The Pressure Of Chain Emails
But what if you didn't have the email addresses of 10 people in your contacts list???
7Search Engines Other Than Google
I was loyal to AskJeeves myself. It's why some of my older family members still think you should type questions into Google.
8Downloading Everything On Kazaa
I mean, no, you should not pirate things. That is illegal. But Kazaa and Limewire were such fixtures of the internet in the '90s and early 2000s that it's kind of hard not to wax poetic about them. At least we have services like iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube today, right?
9That Horrifying Yet Welcoming Dial Tone
If you ever used the internet in the '90s, this one is permanently embedded into your memory.
10Making Friends In AOL Chatrooms
When was the last time someone asked you for your A/S/L? I'm going to guess it was around 1999 — if not earlier.
11"Under Construction" Signs
Even when it comes to personal blogs, it's rare nowadays to see a website let you know it's still under construction.