In the '90s I was discovering boys and the internet at roughly the same time, and it was magical. However, there were definitely things going on in the in the '90s that parents let kids do online that we would never let kids today. Back then,the internet was new and fresh and exciting, not unlike how I imagine the wild, wild West was. It had so much promise, so much potential and, our parents hardly knew anything about it. Ignorance truly was bliss, and the internet was so simple and so pure and such a perfect way for teenagers to explore their blossoming (not to mention hormone-fueled) feelings and curiosities about the world and the people we shared it with. We were, for arguably the first time, truly connected to others and, well, things got kind of cray. I have very vivid late-’90s memories of doing “homework” at the computer, which meant I was actually talking to boys online. Sorry, parents of mine. I guess it’s about time I come clean.
Times sure have changed, haven’t they? Now that the majority of us '90s kids are grown and having kids of our own, we are dealing with a completely different internet than we were originally used to. It's no longer pure and exciting and full of promise; it can kind of be the worst and, at the very least, is a potentially dangerous tool that can expose our children to harmful people. Ignorance (and bliss) gone. Here’s just a sampling of what we got away with back then that parents don’t allow anymore, because even nostalgia can't make us overlook what we now know to be true of the internet:
Occupy The Only Communication Source In The Whole House
Ugh, the agony of being almost done with your latest online search of Nick Carter candid photos, only to find that your mom picked up the phone and ruined everything. I love you, mom, but I'm still hurting.
Tolerate A Super-Slow Connection
The slow death of watching an image load one pixel at a time. Children, you will never know struggle.
Hang Out In Chatrooms
So many words. So many people. So much to read about it. It was exciting and scary and totally inappropriate, all at the same time.
Discuss Your A/S/L With Whoever Asked
Speaking of chatrooms, I'm not sure anything compares to the butterflies I'd get in my stomach when I realized I was getting textual attention from a "teen" a year or two older than me (allegedly). Now, the mere idea of young me just forking over information to the latest internet "suitor," makes me nauseous.
Download Music Without Paying For It
I'm not saying I did this, OK? I'm just saying we all learned a valuable lesson, and our kids are better off for it. But I'm not saying I did this.
Build A Website (Unsupervised)
I mean, all that boyband knowledge couldn't just go to waste. We had to do something with it, right?
Set Up And Email With "Baby" Or "Luv" Or "69" In It
Who knew that someday we'd be using those emails on our college applications? We sure didn't, not until at least, like, 2001.
Use It At All Before The Age Of 17
Okay, maybe 16. But, guys, my son is two years old. I have to draw the line somewhere.