FFFW#3: Mr. Jockers

Yahoo’s homepage, from 1994

Prompt: Write a story called “The Day the Internet Died”

Pattern: Simple (with an adjective or noun phrase), Compound-Complex

What would life be like without the Internet, the technological web that has for better or worse connected nearly everyone worldwide? Because I lived about 20 years without it, it’s easy for me to imagine, for I just have to recollect my childhood.

It was not until late into my college years, during the middle of the 1990s, that the Internet became something my peers and I used. When it became accessible, in clunky college computer labs, the realization that so much was suddenly available so quickly and easily was stunning, but it was also so slow, in retrospect.

In 1998, living at home a year after graduating from UConn, I spent a fair amount of time using a Gateway desktop computer my parents had just bought. It accessed the Internet through our telephone line, and it made this awful, warbled, high-pitched noise when it did so, which I can still hear in my head today. And when you were “surfing the Web,” following links to wherever, no one could call your house. That mattered, actually, because this was before anyone had a cellphone, so THE way to communicate was by using a home’s landline. That meant that when you called a friend there was a good chance that an adult, an authority figure, would answer the phone. Since that possibility existed, you had to use proper phone etiquette, or you’d run the risk of developing a bad reputation in your friend’s home.

Incredibly (viewed through the lens of today’s culture), my peers and I navigated our schooling years without either the ability to immediately contact each other secretly or learn the answer to anything. However, we’re all idiots now, for we all are always looking at our phones, though we wonder why our kids can’t get off theirs.

It was simpler then, before the Internet.

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About rcjockers

I am a middle-school language arts teacher in Connecticut. I like eating hot peppers from my garden, writing, and watching German soccer matches in the dark.

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