So I was touring the old Space Jam website (as I occasionally do) and reliving a whole bunch of childhood, when I stumble onto some missing bits that just dead end.
..No. I wanted to keep going, you monsters!
And while the nostalgia is utterly lost on people who were either too young or didn’t have internet at all in the 1990’s, well… web design kind of sucked by modern standards. But we made it work, and while the end results were about as pretty as the mugshot for the Frankenstein Creature, the fact that it worked at all was kind of sexy. These were the days of Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. MySpace wasn’t around to be a meme yet, and above all, America Online seemed like it ruled all. Furthermore, we ALL had dial up (Only folks like Bill Gates and co. could afford broadband in those days, or at least it seemed that way), which was accompanied by the most delightful noise to ever grace your eardrums. We didn’t have Facebook groups, we had fanlistings and fansites (most of which were hosted on the aforementioned Geocities, Tripod, or Angelfire), and you were a trailblazer if you had one. The opening of Friendster heralded the beginning of the Social Media Era, and all the cool kids were using it, and neither Apple nor Google had yet taken over the effing world. Indeed, Google was barely getting started by the close of the 1.0 era.
And I guess most importantly about the Internet 1.0 era was that it was, apparently, NOT “the internet” but “the world wide web”. Oh, and everything felt like it broke every half hour.
But despite all the troubles that came with it and the frustrations of the limitations of the technology, I miss it a lot.
Not because it was in any way better than what we have now (BY NO MEANS), but because it all still felt infinite, especially to those of us who were kids at the time, and like the best was yet to come.
Now, in more ways than one, it feels sort of like we’re rapidly approaching the end of the internet.
Not literally of course. But the wild west anything-is-possible feel of the digital frontier is now very greatly diminished, and I miss when we had it in abundance.