You Won’t Believe How Much The Internet Has Changed In 20 Years!
Before blogs, constant targeted ads, Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and smart phones the Internet was a very different place. It wasn't the beautiful home for a planet's worth of information we know today.
In 1998 I was 14. After making sure no one was using the landline phone, I would fire up my 56k modem for some online fun. This is what the Internet of twenty years ago looked like.
Bonus: I have included a link to the Know Your Meme page for dancing baby so you can watch that baby dance just one more time.
Before social media, Xbox Live, and even Google there was Yahoo! Yahoo! had everything. You could play games, chat in the often cringe inducing chat rooms, have multiple email accounts, and search the web for the answers to your homework all in one place. Eventually the chat rooms would be shut down and Yahoo! Messenger would take over for a bit. Now it's pretty much just the go-to for fantasy football.
For a lot of us, AOL was our first introduction to the world wide web. They gave us the ever iconic phrase, "You've Got Mail!" Then they gave us AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger. Instant messaging was the rage before text messaging, and it came in pretty handy since you couldn't use the house phone while being connected to the Web.
Browser based games were how you wasted time in the computer lab. They didn't work well. They weren't pretty. Usually, they made absolutely no sense. This screenshot is taken from the CBS Sports page during the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Nothing makes you feel more patriotic than a convoluted figure skating game.
Before blogs, Wordpress, Myspace,Tumblr, Facebook...we had Geocities. Geocities had a pretty simple interface that allowed you to create an entire website. You could personalize it however you wanted to, make it part of a "neighborhood" of websites with similar interests, and fill it with pages upon pages of dancing baby gifs.
Online gaming is a bit of a paradise in the here and now. Not only can you play games, but you also stream movies, TV shows, and music all from your console. In 1998 we had the N64. The only console at the time that gave you a shot at online gaming was the Dreamcast, and that didn't end well for Sega did it? Online gaming was done from your PC with services like GameSpy. Ah, the days of shareware!