Users formed full-fledged online relationships with people they had never even met.Sure, in real life you may have been a Dungeons and Dragons playing loner with duct-taped glasses, but online you could be the suave AOL romeo you'd always dreamed of being. It's going date us immensely when we someday tell our children of plugging a common search term in a search engine and having zero results, but we'll know that we were the true online pioneers. Once we could actually forge a connection, that is.
The internet was a new and exciting place, and it seemed like a safe and inpenetrable fortress of unsupervised mischief.From the moment a person asked, "A/S/L", you knew it was on.That is, imploring his chatroommates to give their age, sex, and location.It's remarkable to think that just a decade earlier, we were content to wait five minutes to catch even the briefest glimpse of the internet. ", we'd be clamoring to reach our favorite chat rooms.Nowadays, if a website takes more than three seconds to load we're all about one step away from tossing the laptop out the window. As AOL was the premier internet service of the 90s, a good chunk of the online population could be found roaming these virtual spaces.Only, truth be told, all the people in those rooms were probably either under the age of 12 or over the age of 50.While today a notion like that might raise a red flag or two, these things were chalked up to good, clean fun back then. Children delighted in their ability to fool others, though looking back it's unlikely that my friends and I fooled anyone with our fifth grade writing skills and general misunderstanding of innuendos.I imagine parents everywhere would have been pretty uneasy to find that their young children were being approached online with the request to "cyber", but again, these were different times.Very few people had considered the notion of troubling internet connections, we were too enthralled by its exciting possibilities to see any danger in letting children loose into chatrooms with a slew of card-carrying NAMBLA members and known sex offenders.Mind you, this was years before Chris Hansen was popping in to offer you a seat while the decoy internet teen went to go check on the hot tub.There was no catching of predators, no online policing, just pure, unadulterated dangerous fun.