Do You Remember Your First Experience with the Internet?

Written by ob81

Do you remember the first time you used the internet? I do.

I was thinking about it the other day, reminiscing about when it all started. It actually is pretty weird in a way. I had a computer at home, but it was used as an educational tool for my brothers and me. We had tons of math and word games that we would play all day. No internet of course.

It wasn’t until the summer of my freshman year in High School that I finally logged on to the internet. It’s odd that I remember it so vividly. It was June 1996, and I had a job as a Caddy at a Golf Club in Highland Park, IL. That summer, my place of residence was at Northwestern University in the suburbs of Chicago. I was staying in a College Co-Ed dorm as a freshman in High School!

It was fun to say the least, but that’s another story in its own. How this ties in is, my best friend that summer was a girl named Katie. Katie was a sophomore at Northwestern and took classes during the summer so she could graduate early. She was smart, but one of the nastiest people I have ever met in my life.

The only image that comes up when I remember her is her holding a beer and most of the front of her shirt being wet from spilling beer on herself. She was one of those people that couldn’t eat or drink without spilling something on her. It was weird as I am a very neat person, but I can be friends with anyone.

Katie would study all day. Drink and Party all night, and then hang out at a small computer room on campus and actually slept in there sometimes. I was always curious about the computer room, but I got up early in the mornings, and was normally tired from being on a Golf Course all day.

One weekend Katie said I should try the internet out, but it was best to go late at night as there were only 3 computers in the room, and during the day people were always on them.

I can’t tell you what type of computer it was, but the browser was Netscape and the Home Page was Yahoo! I didn’t know what the heck a Yahoo! was, but it had a list of everything that it could connect me to it seemed. The site looked nothing like Yahoo! looks today. It was a search box, some Yahoo! Icons, and a list in category fashion, like sports, cars, dating, and other stuff like that.

Turns out that Katie was always chatting on those late nights in the computer room, and I was a recruit to be her arguing buddy. I wonder if that chat site still exists. I can’t check it now as I am writing this from work. I would search for “Lil’ Chat Hotel” in Yahoo!, and I would know which one to click. The whole URL thing was foreign to me.

Katie and I started going to the computer room EVERY night, for hours chatting on this site. I couldn’t believe how fun it was, and somehow comforting. I guess that was my first experience with social networking in a way also. It also is what started my addiction to the internet.

Damn you Katie!!

Do you remember your first experience?

28 thoughts on “Do You Remember Your First Experience with the Internet?

  1. R.V.

    I’m not sure about my very first experience with the Internet. However, I am sure it was in late the ’90s at the place where my dad used to work. At that time it wasn’t real to get a cheap Internet connection at home in my country, so I went with him to his work and while he was doing some computer-unrelated stuff, I was surfing the web, checking out sites about computer games, chatting and so on. It was something special for me – being connected to the whole world – back then.

  2. brij

    I remember the day…it was August 08, 99, my brother was gifted an HP Brio PC from his co.; none of my frnd had seen internet by then, but i knew there is a lot of stuff…i never even held a mouse ๐Ÿ™‚

    so he switched it on, it was running Windows 98, and he installed the modem card in a couple of hours (there wasn’t enough space in machine to move ur hands freely to remove or put a h/w device, i can remember it was pandora’s box).

    he connected, it and the first site he opened for me was hotmail…

    then i asked is it neccessary to remember the name of site, and then he introduced me to GOOGLE, my obsession with GOOGLE started that day, and it’s still going on….. i am termed as true complete job success, and education i owe to Google….

  3. David Fisher

    I don’t remember when or how I started but I remember that when I did, I had no understanding of URL’s or any of that stuff, but what I did understand was how to search (on altavista) and how to print off pictures, so I’d do that for hours on end ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. martin cohen

    I was a grad student in computer science at the USC Information Sciences Institute in the mid 1970’s (before personal computers). I remember logging in and connecting with a computer in London, England and thinking “This is really amazing!”

    This was the original Arpanet with 50k lines.

  5. m burke

    Mid 90s, has been using BBS (bulletin board services) since mid 80s when the BBS I was part of began offering access to “usenet” and other ways of sending mail to people on other systems, (before this, we used “fidonet” which was a way of sending mail to a person on another BBS system.) Within a few months I went with the BBS owners to get a “partial T-1” line installed so they could offer more services for this new “internet” thing. It seemed, at the time, like another aspect of BBS systems, who knew it would replace them.

  6. K

    David Fisher – HAH, your post made me nearly spit my drink out. I remember this was before Yahoo was so prominent.. there was altavista and webcrawler and excite.. a few others that I can’t quite remember. But I did the same thing. I was 11/12 years old in 95/96 and spent many hours looking up Brad Pitt and Gavin Rossdale pictures to print off.

  7. K

    I also remember old excite chat rooms. Chat rooms where you have to refresh every five seconds to see peoples replies. Then someone taught me how to use irc and I was hooked.

  8. larry

    Heh, I guess a lot of people found the net in 1996.

    I also first found the internet that year. My computer science teacher took me and another student to one of the back rooms at the library (sounds dirty now!) where there was the one computer in the entire school that was connected to the net.

    I’d already had experience with computers so I knew what was what, but only had the vaguest notion of what “the internet” really was and what potential it had. The computer had netscape on it and the teacher spent a few minutes showing us how the search engine worked.

    Sadly, I thought that was the *entire* internet – a search engine that gave a list! It wasn’t until I was at college that I got to learn more about the internet and what was really available on it.

  9. fiona

    i first used to internet in 1995 when i was 7. my computer teacher had us build the school website. i didnt really have any concept of what i was doing. but when i started uni and took a course in coding it all came back. did anybody else play that incredible machine game?

  10. Jay

    I was ten years old in 1997, and I was actually given a computer for my birthday, and we were online a week later. I remember that it was easy to understand, and I had a lot of fun figuring it out. I had no idea what home row keys were, and taught myself to type in a totally helter-skelter way in the Yahoo! Chatrooms.
    Oh, and Napster was the coolest damn thing back in the day!

  11. Shakey

    When I was seventeen I got a fun job. I had to dismantle old electronics for the parts, resold in a warehouse called aladins cave. These were big industrial pieces of equipment usually bought at auctions. I made good friends with a tech who worked there and started hanging out at his place. In the evenings he would muck about on his green-screen home built computer, and he often tried to show me how be putting the Bakelite phone receiver onto some gadget, he could 'phone up' other computers and talk to people all over the World. I was more interested in his amazing record collection, loads of punk and alternative discs i would spend hours checking out while he chuckled and typed next to me chatting to other clever tech types from wherever. The year was 1987, and i had no idea he was showing me.. well, the future basically.

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