Internet: 1997-2000

On a particular day in 1997, I had my first experience of the Internet. At that point of time, I didn’t own a PC. What I did was I used to snoop around my Uncle (who was living with my family then) whenever he was on the computer. I typically watch him play games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D etc. So when I saw his reading something off a window, it triggered my curiousity. Why isn’t he gaming, but reading something that doesn’t exactly look like a document?

He explained to me he was surfing the net. So that explained why he was dragging long cable lines into his room! It wasn’t for a phone in his room but for the Internet. At that time I didn’t understand what Internet means. But I vaguely recalled my Uncle explaining to me that the Internet is all about traveling around the world without leaving your room. He showed me how I could “visit” Disneyland without going to the US by accessing Disney’s website.

Internet addict by ~arizaNur

Typical of a 10 year old kid then, I was mesmerized with what I could do with the Internet. I could use it to access more cartoons and games, be up-to-date on Disney news and possibly use it to source information for group projects. 

While it probably sounds trivial and childish now, I was so excited by my discovery and went to school telling my friends how I visited Disney from the comforts of my home. 

Soon, I came to rely on Yahoo to search on everything under the sun. I switched from using Netscape (the first browser I used) to Internet Explorer. Eventually I got my first PC and Internet connection (the dial up tone was hypnotic) in 2000. I quickly got myself an email account via Lycos Asia. 

I also soon realized that the Internet can be a dangerous place as I came across porn ads and web-links in all sorts of places. In fact the Internet porn situation was quite a hot topic in 2000 in the local media. I was even falsely accused by my Gramps of watching porn because I exhibited the following traits (which according to a chinese current affairs TV program meant I could a porn-addict):

  • Sudden need for privacy (i.e. wanting to be alone at the computer)
  • Defensive when questioned on Internet activities
  • Closing the door when using the computer  in a room
  • Using the Internet for more than 4 hours

While the “symptoms” suggested by the TV program could be partially true for certain cases, it was certainly NOT APPLICABLE on me. But what the hell, I still got scolded by my Mum for allegedly watching porn. I was grounded from using the computer, indefinitely. Of course I still figured out how to use the computer covertly, but that’s another story for another entry. 

The Internet by ~savemedork

2 years ago, a classmate shared with the class his favorite song from Avenue Q… “The Internet is for Porn”. The Internet is definitely not all about porn, despite the cliché that porn fuels technological progress. It’s about being connected to the world.

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