My first time wasn’t like I thought it was going to be, maybe I should have waited.

The year, 1996.  The location, a small town in Wisconsin.  My family decided to dive into the internet era, and we went big.  We bought a Gateway Destination.  This was a PC that had a 32 in. monitor  (Our computer screen was larger than the TV in the family room).   gatewaydestination.gifThe screen was big enough that we had to have a couch with a coffee table as the desk where we kept the wireless mouse and keyboard.  We had dial up, but this was when everyone had dial up.  We did; however, have this option that when someone was trying to call us, there number would show up on the screen and we then could call them back immediately or pretend we never new they called, a lot like caller id.  So we have this huge computer and my parents take a vacation for a week and leave me at home to watch my sister.  This was perfect, I could surf that net for hours and no one could tell me get off.  My parents were on an island, its not like they would be calling to see if the line was busy for three hours.  AOL was huge for chat rooms at this time.  There were chat rooms for everything.  Even for teenagers.  At first I just watched.  I had no idea how to jump in.  Then I found a room that was dedicated to talking about music.  Perfect.  Who knew that discussing music could be so heated.  A few of us got into an argument.  What were arguing, I have no idea, but I do remember how it ended.  Obviously I was witty and brilliant and apparently offended someone, and their rebuttal was rather eloquent.  The online dialog ended with a few kids calling me names.  I quietly left the room and have not returned to a chat room.  I can see how today there are worries about on-line bullying.  But honestly, bullying takes place all over the place and it is not going to stop, unless these kids with low self esteem get some help, but until then, they are going to try to make others feel just as bad as they do.I think that social network groups are really great, I have nothing against them.  Kids are going to be jerks on-line just as they are off-line.  I have since been a part of Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook.  Social networking can be really great for people that are looking for people to identify with.  Goth kids can find each other, Star Wars fans can unite, skater kids can trade tips, people can date all over the world and fantasy football brings geeks and jocks together.  However, I think it is important to exercise common sense, reservation and safety.

1 Comment

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One response to “My first time wasn’t like I thought it was going to be, maybe I should have waited.

  1. Ah yes…the AOL chat rooms. I used to hang out with the Apple people and the Stevie people… such intrigue! Good post!

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