Listeners Recall First Time On The Internet
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MICHELE NORRIS, host:
And continuing on the topic of technology and relationships. Many of us have a longstanding romance with this thing called the Internet. Well, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Internet. And as part of our occasional series, The Net at 40, we asked you to tell us about your first time, your first email, your first Web page, and of course, your first instant message.
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
Amanda Lynn(ph) of Little Rock, Arkansas, was sitting in front of her friend's Mac Classic. The year was 1992. She logged on for the very first time with a trial disk from America Online.
Ms. AMANDA LYNN: We were just absolutely giddy with anticipation hearing the hiss and the boing-boing and the dial-up connecting us to the Internet.
NORRIS: And once Lynn and her friend got on, they headed straight for the chat rooms.
Ms. LYNN: We spent the next several hours talking to a guy who was in north Little Rock, Arkansas, which is literally 12 miles away from my apartment.
BLOCK: Emily Kentsmith(ph) of Columbus, Ohio, remembers hearing those same hissing sounds in her seventh-grade computer class. It was 1990. And her teacher dialed into the National Weather Service. After several minutes of waiting, he proudly printed out the day's forecast.
Ms. EMILY KENTSMITH: I remember thinking, it seems like a really long drawn out way to find out what the forecast is because I could just watch the news in the morning or pick up a newspaper or something and find it, so I don't think that this ever going to really, you know, turn out to be anything big.
NORRIS: Well, it did turn out to be a pretty big transition for Sheila Clairee(ph) who first logged on in April of 1999. After two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote part of Papua New Guinea, she was having a hard time communicating with her family. She finally got through.
Ms. SHEILA CLAIREE: I sent my mom an email and it was just so ironic because I'd had so many, you know, moments when I've been sitting at the phone, like, for two hours on end, redialing, trying to get through to her. And I hit the send button (unintelligible) a very simple message to my mom: Hi. I'm fine. Leaving today. Love Sheila.
BLOCK: Thanks for sharing your Web memories with us. You can hear more of The Net at 40 series on WEEKEND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.
NORRIS: And don't forget to check out our blog, npr.org/alltech.
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NORRIS: This is NPR, National Public Radio.