When did you first experience being online?

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I was probably in 2nd or 3rd grade. Over at Justin’s house. He had Prodigy. I’m pretty sure there weren’t even any graphics or pictures. I just remember being able to look up sports scores and standings. There may have even been sports trivia. I thought it was the most amazing thing ever, even though it wasn’t much more than I could see in the newspaper. What we really went on there for was to find NBA Jam cheat codes.

One summer, a few years later, I spent some time with my cousin in Virginia. My uncle did something with computers at work so they always had a random machine around. The one they had when I was there had a modem. My cousin and I wanted to get on the internet. They didn’t have AOL or anything. We assumed if you had a modem you could just dial up the internet. We didn’t know the number for the internet. We may have looked in the phone book. We were unsuccessful. No surprise. I just love the thought of me asking, ‘What’s the phone number for the internet?’

It wasn’t until I was 13 and had my first job that I actually got online for myself. I had my job at the field and I saved up so I could buy myself a computer and then paid for AOL (and I assume a 2nd phone line shortly after that). It took some convincing for my mom to let me get AOL, she didn’t understand why anyone would need it. It’s hard to believe that my family didn’t have broadband at the house until after I left for college. How did anything get done on dial-up?

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