Things I Remember Growing Up Online

Monday, September 05, 2016

Lifestyle, Internet, Memories, growing up online, bebo, myspace, social networks, emma gannon, ctrl alt delete,

This post is inspired by a book I read earlier this summer. Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon is all about growing up online, I'm sure you've probably heard of the book and of course Emma who is a blogger, writer, and all round girl boss. But before I start to fangirl too much and things get embarrassing, let me just tell you that this book made me crack up so much, because I related to it so much. Being a similar age to Emma, I remember everything that she spoke about, from the days of MSN (more on that bad boy later) to MySpace and all that jazz. It's funny to think that this whole living online and spending our lives glued to our phone is a relatively new thing, I only really started to use the internet on my mobile when I got my first iPhone five years ago. I'd been all about that Blackberry life before that.

Reading the book, I found myself covering my mouth and cringing about the memories that were popping back up in to my head sparked by the chapters in Emma's book. I thought, I have to write a post about all my internet memories, as they were making me laugh so much. I also hope that you'll maybe share some of yours too?

So let's start at the beginning;

Dial Up Internet:

I remember using the internet for the first time in my Dad's printing shop, which is where I would spend random days in the school holidays. There wasn't much for me to do there apart from play on the computer, I'd sometimes play games such as Number-munchers (which my dad bought in an attempt to improve my Maths skills, but unfortunately it was a lost cause even at the age of 7) but I'd also sometimes be allowed on the internet. I didn't understand the internet, and I just remember sitting swamped in the office chair waiting for it to load. That awful dial up noise that will forever be etched into my brain, and I'd sit for like 10 minutes just waiting. I don't even know what I did online, but I'm pretty sure all I did do was search for pictures of animals such as dolphins, cause I was kinda obsessed with dolphins when I was 7 and I even had a room dedicated to dolphins. (I think I basically wanted to be a dolphin if I'm honest.)

Other early internet memories include;

  • Only being allowed on the internet for an hour, well more like 59 minutes (my Dad would always count!) My slot was 8-8:59pm and you always could guarantee that all the juicy gossip on MSN would happen at 8:55. 
  • Being told to come off the internet cause your Mum needed to use the phone. Nothing grinded my gears more then when it was 8:45 pm and she insisted she needed the phone. RUDE. 
  • Being SO scared if you accidentally pressed the internet button on your pay as you go Nokia 3310 or Motorola Razr phone, cause your parents told you that it would cost £362563 a second and well you needed that £5 top up to last you till Saturday. 
  • Choosing your friends very carefully because if they had unlimited internet, these were the best people to have sleepovers with, my friend Sophie had unlimited internet so Saturday nights were spent at her house on MSN from 7pm-midnight. 

This was how we would communicate with each other before the joys of Whatsapp. You spent 7 hours at school with your pals, but then would come home and talk to them on MSN. 

  • The moment of your heart being in your mouth when you signed in to see who was online and omg would your crush be? 
  • Your crush is online and then you'd wait for them to say hi. When they don't (they usually didn't) you'd repeatedly sign in and out in the hope they'd notice you. Yep it never worked.
  • When you did get a boyfriend/girlfriend you'd put their name with a love heart of course in your MSN name. 
  • Choosing song lyrics as your MSN name was what you did when you got a bit older, and it was always very cool lyrics, I was quite the fan of 'Topshop Princess.'- If you know what song that is from then you get 100 gold points. 
  • Saying ROFL whilst actually looking like this 

  • Saying brb and going offline to someone who you were bored of talking to. 
  • Typing something in the wrong conversation and then going 'whoops wrong conversation sorry' or 'whoops that was my sisters friend sorry.' 
  • Determining whether someone was worth pursuing with their answer to the all important question ASL? 

The first social network that I was really into was MySpace. I was obsessed with it and took it all very seriously. I was about 14/15 and this was my slightly 'emo' phase. I was obsessed with 'skater boys' and I idolised Avril Lavigne, Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy.

  • We were all really good at HTML and editing our myspace profiles but could I tell you how to do HTML now? Could I bugger. 
  • Choosing the song for your Myspace profile was a very, very hard decision. It was someone's first impression of you, it couldn't be the Vengaboys could it? 
  • Taking profile pictures with your digital camera about 7 feet above you. 
  • If people were in your top 8 friends then that meant you trusted them with your life. 
  • Forever being jealous of the local MySpace celebrities : ' I wish I had her amazing side fringe and blonde streak' I would sigh. 
  • Spending half of your life writing ' PC4PC?' 
After MySpace, I then turned to Bebo which was what I used when I was 15/16/17 and it was all about Bebo for a while. 

  • Choosing who to share your daily love with, was genuinely the hardest decision of your day. 
  • Using KungFuMonkey on the computers at school in IT so you could check your Bebo profile.
  • Having your BFF as your other half- obviously. 
  •  Changing your Bebo skin as much as you changed your pants. 
  • WrItInG LiKe ThIs - YoU* R sUcH *A StUnNah - it took about three hours to write one comment. 

Sometimes you couldn't beat a good old email. 

  • Forever regretting your first hotmail account name. 
  • Those chain emails that if you didn't forward, a little girl would creep into your house and kill you. You always forwarded them on cause you had tickets to a Busted concert and didn't have time to die. 
  • Emailing your friend in ICT lessons feeling like an absolute rebel without a cause. 
  • Emailing your friend just random shit ( see my examples below) 

Then when Facebook came around, being determined you wouldn't use it as it was for old people and it would never catch on....

I could go on ALL day about stuff like this, so I'll stop for now!

Let me know some of your favourite internet memories in the comments!


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