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Flashback Friday: Still Using 1995 Internet Technologies

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The internet has changed over the years, but people remain the same. See what’s different, what’s similar and how the past can define the future.

AOL

There’s a famous clip from The Today Show in 1994 where the hosts try to figure out what the internet is. Millennials watch it and giggle as the stars puzzle over seemingly simple concepts like email and web pages. The hosts weren’t silly or stupid, they were only trying to come to terms with a disruptive technology that has since taken over practically everything we do. There are articles from experts in subsequent years that promise the internet would die off soon, much like Hula Hoops or flagpole sitting. We’ll look back at the results of a survey from the early days, and what the average person was doing when they used their precious phone line to connect.

Email

The Pew Research Center took a survey in late 1995 about how Americans were making use of the internet. People check their email on average 15 times a day in 2017, and some are always getting alerts as to every new piece of mail that pops into their inbox. But back in 1995, 29% of more than 4,000 people testified that they only checked their email once a day. On average, they sent three emails a day and received only about five.

CD-Roms Vs. Internet

If Americans had to choose between CD-ROMs at the time and the internet, it seems that people would choose CD-ROMs. Around half the people surveyed had CD-ROMs, and attitudes and usage patterns suggest that the web just wasn’t cutting it for them yet.

Adult Entertainment

Most people wanted to eliminate any type of adult entertainment from the internet entirely, though the margins were somewhat slim with a 52 to 41% vote for banning it. At the time, censorship seemed perfectly reasonable, much like the movies or television.

Websites

Only 1 in every 5 users had ever signed onto the web, even though the first website was already 5 years old. Survey participants appreciated connecting with strangers via chat and skipping postage costs via email, but the days of idle surfing weren’t quite here yet.

Privacy Concerns

The concerns over privacy have waned and waxed over the years, but it’s not a new concept. Half of the users admitted to worrying about someone invading their privacy in 1995. While that concern would filter out some in 2008 and 2009, it was revived again after Edward Snowden laid out the brutal truths he’d encountered in national security. Americans are more concerned about their privacy regarding businesses and government than they ever were before.

Understanding the past is a good way to keep us moving forward — until the time another generation can ask questions that will seem obvious to the generation that follows.

PC Help Services is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest developments and can provide you with tips, tricks and news. Contact us at (317) 585-0500 or send us an email at info@pchservices.com for more information.

Alexssa

My wife called around and the first company to actually answer the phone was PC Help Services, Inc. She scheduled a time for the owner, Jason, to come out to our house; he came out within 48 hours. (In the past, we had taken our computer to a place like Best Buy to get it repaired, but we really don’t like doing that anymore. Even though it costs more for a repairman to come to one’s home, it is worth it for convenience and security.) Jason showed up on time and was very professional. At the advice of the person who scheduled the appt. over the phone, we purchased a new DVD burner from Fry’s ahead of time to save money. When Jason determined that the DVD burner / drive in our computer was indeed inoperable, he began to replace it with the one we had purchased. There was a problem between the computer and the connectors for the new DVD drive. Jason knew of a store from which he could buy a new connector. Within 10 minutes he was back and had spent $5.00 for the connector. He quickly installed the new DVD drive and concluded within 45 minutes, start to finish. Hire PC Help Services, Inc., by all means!”

Philip Kern / April 2009

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