It’s hard for kids to imagine the days when most folks didn’t own a computer, smartphone, laptop, or any of the gadgets they’ve grown up with since they were in diapers. And to them, like the sun and moon, the internet is just something that’s always existed. Have you ever tried to explain the concepts of things like the yellow pages and the public library to millennials? The blank look on their faces as you explain “the good old days” before the internet goes to show just how far technology has come. However, it’s not just about the tech; it’s also about how integrated this new technology has become in our lives.
Of course, there’s not really a lot that’s new under the sun. One can imagine kids reacting back in the 70s and 80s when they heard stories about how most folks didn’t have telephones or TV sets. As a member of the Xennial generation (between Generation X and Millennials.) I had the strange experience of growing up and learning the internet as a pre-teen while still remembering things like rotary phones, cassette players, TV with only five or six channels, phone booths, and arcades. During the ’90s, most folks were just learning about the internet, and there were several educational films made to help folks understand this strange new thing that many felt would only be a “fad.”
In the 2014 video below, we see teens of this generation react to a commercial for the internet shot in the deep ’90s.
Honestly, the writing for this commercial had to have been done by someone ancient; it almost reminds me of an episode of Leave It to Beaver.
And I kind of feel offended because that’s just not how teens talked in those days.
One of my favorite parts is watching them react to how we used to search for things and the noises our modems made when connecting to the internet.
Kids today have no idea how good they have it. Those of us who remember things like 28.8 kps dial-up have some invaluable experience when it comes to learning patience.
You can watch today’s teens react to the cringiest 90s commercial for the internet in the video below.