Part I of II
I believe it was Christmas 1993. My older brother gave us a dial-up modem, so we could upgrade our computer and finally utilize one of those CDs that kept arriving in the mail to access something called America Online.
After playing with it for a few weeks, I invited another brother over to give him a tour… especially of the highly publicized Internet. We sat in my home office for about an hour as I took us from place to place on the Information Superhighway. Then he made a prediction: “This will never be a big deal. It’s way too slow.” I responded: “Today.”
The world changed quickly. Dial-up gave way to broadband. The sock monkey and others generated millions in advertising and little in revenue. Brick and mortar stores learned how to utilize the new medium, and – fast as you can say ‘Yahoo’ – it seemed everyone had a login and password for eBay, Amazon and iTunes. Online now accounts for eight percent of total retail sales… and the trend keeps heading north.
Kids born at the peak of the NASDAQ began receiving their driver’s licenses two months ago. So, while those of us with birthdates prior to the rise and fall of AOL remember when the only use of a telephone was to call someone, those born since will always live in a world accessible at their fingertips.
Of course, everything isn’t always easy…
Tomorrow: When technology brings pain