Our Internet (Part One - History)

Written by Erin LaVaux

Do you feel hated online?

Does reading comments 50% of the time make you feel bad about yourself or down? Do you suffer from anxiety, depression or loneliness? There's a chance the internet is contributing.

 

Let me tell you a story about how things weren't always like this online...

Many kids and even adults, aren't aware that the internet has been around since the 1960's, back then it was used strictly by the military and then later, by tech companies, colleges, universities and libraries.

The very first time I logged online, I was only 14 years old. My StepDad loved all gadgets and things techie.

Author & Web Developer,
​​​​​​​Erin LaVaux at 14 yrs old

Probably where I got my interest in technology and definitely my biggest fan as far as encouraging me to be a girl in tech. One day, he brought home a modem from Radio Shack.

The old school modem was like a phone but not the smart kind most kids are used to seeing. If your Grandparents or older relatives have an old phone with a circle on both ends, that's what this looked like. You place it in the cradle, connect it to your computer, connect it to the phone jack and dial the phone number you want to connect to. Then your computer connects to their network or their PCs (PC is short for, "Personal Computer" and specifically refers to IBM compatibles, meaning, Not Macintosh / Apple).

The very first thing I did at 14 years old was to look up an educational forum (known as a BBS) run by a programmer in Colorado or California. I can't remember where he was located. He had homeschool software that we had purchased for $5. from our Walmart. It was called, "Shareware" and came on 5 1/4 inch floppies. They were pretty cool.

I was SO excited to be able to visit another computer in another state! I downloaded his software, which I recall took about an hour. Maybe more? It turned out to not be what I wanted but it was still an awesome experience! My StepDad quickly discovered after the phone bill just how expensive those internet calls were. So he took the modem and put it back in the box. I think he returned it even. We never saw it again.

Internet BBS Screen