“What Is Internet Anyway?”

A YouTube video showing Today Show anchors Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric trying to figure out what the Internet was back in 1994 has been making the rounds on Facebook lately. 

My how far we’ve come in 17 years! 

Today, most of us know what the @ symbol is and don’t regularly say things like ‘my email address is name then the a with the little ring around it last name dot com.’ We clearly remember when we first heard about this new-fangled technology called “The Internet.”

Julie’s Story

I was in college walking home from the dining hall when a friend said that she wanted to stop at the library to check her email.  I thought that she was confused and she meant the post office to pick up her mail.  I felt a little silly when she told me that she really did mean the library and email – after all, my major was Computer Information Systems and I had no idea what she was talking about.  Imagine my surprise when she enlightened me about email and then I went on to learn more about the Internet, especially given my major and that none of my course work included anything about “the Internet.”

Chad’s Story

Right around the same time as Julie’s story (which, by the way, I didn’t know until today and now she will never live down!), I was visiting a friend who had just signed up for CompuServe and had an email address that was just a string of numbers followed by @compuserve.com.  He talked about it for a few minutes and I remember thinking that was pretty cool but I didn’t know what to do with it so I suggested that we just play Oregon Trail instead (remember, I was just a kid at the time!).  I didn’t think much more about the Internet until AOL for Windows hit the scene, and then I knew that the Internet was going to change the world.

What’s your story?  When did you first learn about the Internet?