The internet has come a long way. A really, really, really long way. Though since I don't remember much of the early internet, I often forget about the fact that it used to be a lot different than what we have today. After all, I'm only 22—I haven't been around for that long.

Despite that—or, perhaps, because of that—it was always quite interesting for me to hear stories and learn new facts about the old-school interwebs. That's why this particular Reddit thread was just right up my alley. A few weeks ago, a Reddit user @DevilYouKnow posted on the site asking fellow users to name the weirdest things they remember about the early days of the internet. As per usual, redditors delivered. In addition, while looking through the users' answers, I happened to learn quite a few new things that I had no idea about. For instance, I didn't know that back in the day, people weren't able to simultaneously use the internet and the phone!

Without further ado, Bored Panda invites you to look through some of the weirdest things people remember about the early internet. As always, feel free to add your own in the comment section!

#1

The Simplicity Of Recipes

The Simplicity Of Recipes I dunno. But, I really miss the way recipes used to be shared online. No scrolling through a giant website of background story of the recipe and countless ads. It was literally just the text of the recipe, with comments under of how to tweak that recipe. We were so spoiled by the simplicity and immediacy of ingredient lists back then and we didn’t even know it.

rawsugar87 , Unknown Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
1 year ago

And, this is why I don't cook that often. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.

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#2

Downloads Taking Literal Hours

Downloads Taking Literal Hours Starting a download before you went to bed so it would be done when you got up the next morning.

Nightdave , Christiaan Colen Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Only to find out that someone disconnected you from the internet and your download failed.

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#3

Mom, Put Down The Phone, I Want The Internet!

Mom, Put Down The Phone, I Want The Internet! Telling people not to use the phone because you were on the internet.

omegaclick , Steven Lilley Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

And that download that stopped at 99% because your mother had to call aunt Betty.

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#4

"I Miss The Independence And Creativity Of The Early Web"

"I Miss The Independence And Creativity Of The Early Web" I miss the independence and creativity of the early web. You could surf it for interesting topics developed by people as a hobby for hours and not ever run into anything corporate. That has completely reversed now, sadly.

jjc157 , Dan Wood Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

The days that Google was your friendly search-engine. That has completely reversed now, sadly.

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#5

Who Remembers "Netscape Navigator"?

Who Remembers "Netscape Navigator"? Who here remembers Netscape Navigator being the best browser?

UndeadWarlord , Gabriel Saldana Report

Phil Boswell
Community Member
1 year ago

I remember Netscape being the *only* browser…

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#6

The Badger Song!

The Badger Song! "BADGER, BADGER, BADGER MUSHROOM MUSHROOM!"

rickrolo24 , Weebl's Stuff Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
1 year ago

Snaaake!

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#7

The Fun Of Customizing Your Cursors

The Fun Of Customizing Your Cursors I remember entire websites dedicated to customizing your cursor

Nlbf-Supreme , Wikimedia Commons Report

Emilingo (strawberry seeds)
Community Member
1 year ago

um you still can do this

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#8

"It Was An Assault On The Senses, But It Was Also Glorious!": Overburdened Web Design

"It Was An Assault On The Senses, But It Was Also Glorious!": Overburdened Web Design The early days of CSS & HTML with cursor effects, far too many different fonts, visitor counters on every website, inexplicable scrolling text, animated gifs everywhere, etc. It was an assault on the senses, but it was also glorious!

TransientSignal , Wikimedia Commons Report

B
Community Member
1 year ago

Hand-coding HTML in Notepad before CSS... those were the days.

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#9

Amazon Was A Bit Different

Amazon Was A Bit Different Amazon was still a bookstore.

HumongousBratwurst , Wikimedia Commons Report

Avery S Alberico
Community Member
1 year ago

Amazon was a bookstore? That makes a little sense because of their logoś meaning...

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#10

"Under Construction" At All Times

"Under Construction" At All Times The always present 'under construction' sign as well.

The early internet was awash in black background with dayglo fonts and it was glorious. And they were all connected in little rings.

ClancyHabbard , Quartz Report

Tiny Dancer
Community Member
1 year ago

Ah, yes, I recall the Web Ring thing fondly. I had a VERY popular X-Files site back when, for example, and (once you passed the audition and someone approved) you could join a group of other X-Files sites in a ring. At the bottom of your page, you'd display the group's ring graphic and it linked to the next site on the list. Funny to remember that one of the reasons your site would not be approved is if you had too much advertising or commercial links. How refreshing would that be today, eh?

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#11

Having To Pay For Every Single Minute Online

Having To Pay For Every Single Minute Online Dial up that would charge you by the minute. People today don't know how good they have it.

malgranda_azeno , iGlobalWeb Report

Rizzan
Community Member
1 year ago

Playing Everquest for waayyyyy too long and getting the bill...

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#12

Extremely Intricate Fonts

Extremely Intricate Fonts I remember my friend showing me some flaming text on his school intranet page and I thought it was the absolute f****** future

OmarGuard , David Tipper Report

Victoria
Community Member
1 year ago

flamingtext.com !!!!

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#13

Absolutely No Rules

Absolutely No Rules I must be older than anyone here, because the "early days" of the internet was back when years still started with 19. And there were NO RULES. There was no online tracking, no ad-bots, just no enforcement of any kind. Essentially the internet then was what the dark net is now. Anything could be found, but only if you knew where to look. Search engines were all but useless and nothing was protected for s***. A few hours in a dumpster full of paper could get you access to nearly anything. That was the early days of the internet.

jk013x , geralt Report

ArtistinResidence
Community Member
1 year ago

The early Internet was arcnet, used by the military. The fact that nothing was protected meant that creepers could freely pass along things like child porn without getting caught. Oh the good old days. Yes, that’s sarcasm.

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#14

Dial-Up Noises

Dial-Up Noises The fact that muting your computer didn't get rid of the dial up noise.

eddmario , Unknown Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

You forgot to insert the atM0 command.

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#15

We Somehow Survived Without YouTube

We Somehow Survived Without YouTube YouTube wasn’t around.

TimTheTooth , Wikimedia Commons Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Neither were the Kardashians.

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#16

Viruses Weren't As Sneaky

Viruses Weren't As Sneaky It your computer had a virus, you knew. Nowadays, aside from ransomware, viruses are a bunch of uncreative sneaky bois that steal passwords or slow your computer down for a botnet.

wehosh , Wikimedia Commons Report

Jade Lynn - Panda's Brat
Community Member
1 year ago

My old computer had this weird worm virus that would give a countdown to when it would shut my computer off randomly. I would be chatting on MSN or Yahoo! and I'd have to tell everyone "worm attack, brb"

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#17

Hamster Gifs Everywhere

Hamster Gifs Everywhere Hamster dance

It was just hamster gifs

UndeadWarlord , KOCHRECORDS Report

Denis Brown
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah but you must admit, those rodents really had moves!

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#18

The Good Old AOL Chat Rooms

The Good Old AOL Chat Rooms Aol chat rooms. I do miss those tho.

starshine8316 , bcs652 Report

Tiny Dancer
Community Member
1 year ago

Newsgroups filled the chat hole for me. I'm still friends with people I met on the alt.culture.us.1970s group from some 25 years ago.

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#19

You Had To Figure Things Out Yourself

You Had To Figure Things Out Yourself This just gave me flashbacks. This is why I think a lot of GenX/early Millenials are pretty tech saavy. There were no GUIs for software, no pretty websites on the internet, nothing to "Google" for help. You had to be so damned persistent but it made you really understand things. Now I teach GenZ students and although they mostly have superior social media skills, they really struggle to understand how parts of a computer function together. I've spent hours trying to explain the difference between a local and remote drive, browsers and enabling extensions, clearing a cache, using suites of apps like Google Apps or Office, etc. Especially with so much college learning shifted to a remote format this year, it really showed some of the holes in our childrens' education in using technology.

useless_instinct , Simon Report

Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

I think this is the normal way technology goes. The more it matures, the more it disappears, only to be understood by experts. People a few decades ago would routinely fix cars.

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#20

Personalizing AOL's Notifications

Personalizing AOL's Notifications My friend's mom's reaction when I replaced AOL's "you've got mail" with "you've got porn"

UndeadWarlord , Uknown Report

Jade Lynn - Panda's Brat
Community Member
1 year ago

The Austin Power's ICQ theme was bomb hahah

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#21

The Horrors Of The Dancing Baby

Maybe I missed it, but I don’t see anyone mentioning the dancing baby??? He was so creepy! My mom was stunned that technology could create something “so lifelike” and was obsesssssed. I miss the program I had to create ‘storybooks’, it let you edit the stickers and recolor everything, clicking tiny little pixel boxes for hours Clickclickclick

Awkward-Review-Er Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
1 year ago

The only dancing baby that I recall was the one on "Ally McBeal".

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#22

Free Stuff

Free Stuff Never needing to pay for AOL. Free discs were everywhere. I used them as frisbee.

UndeadWarlord , Unknown Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
1 year ago

all those dang discs!!!!

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#23

Random Stuff On Limewire

Random Stuff On Limewire All the random s*** on Limewire under completely different titles

pdxblazer , Wikimedia Commons Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 year ago

Like viruses and all kind of other malware.

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#24

Waiting For Pictures To Load

Trying not to blow your load waiting 30-50 seconds for a picture to load fully from top to bottom

SavageBonger Report

Troux
Community Member
1 year ago

Um...phrasing?

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#25

Internet Explorer Owning The Place

Internet Explorer Owning The Place Every software you download was a toolbar on internet explorer

Thefakewhitefang , Daniel Sempértegui Report

Mal
Community Member
1 year ago

Internet Exploder

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#26

Who Needs URLs Anyway?

Who Needs URLs Anyway? How AOL didn't use URLs. Every "website" had a keyword, meaning that every topic literally only had one website. I remember when Nickelodeon would constantly promote themselves on TV and said "Log on to AOL keyword 'Nick!'" meaning that that was literally the only place you could see Nickelodeon content.

redxrain86 , Unknown Report

Banjo Peppers
Community Member
1 year ago

AOL definitely did have urls, the aol keywords were just like using a search engine

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#27

Everything Being Much More Complicated

An email costing 5p. Every minute of being online costing 1p. Having to manually write http://www. Otherwise the website wouldn't load. Trying multiple times to log on using a dial up modem. Some days it just wouldn't work. The fact that you couldn't be online if someone in your household was on the phone. The agony when after logging on after 10 attempts someone in the household would pick up the phone which would instantly drop the connection.

AboutTimeCroco Report

Csaba Horvath
Community Member
1 year ago

Now it is also complicated, but on another way.

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#28

Loading Taking Hours. Well, Minutes, To Be Less Dramatic

Waiting 5 minutes to load one email page (AOL)...You've got mail.

Seasonedgrappler Report

Cassie
Community Member
1 year ago

That was the time we used to go pee or get a snack. Open the image, go off and do something, and hope it was fully loaded by the time you came back.

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#29

Websites With Psychedelic Colors

The idea that websites with psychedelic colors was a thing

zensonic1974 Report

IndiHome
Community Member
1 year ago

Isn’t that a virus? It’s called LSD, when you open it, it would do a cool color effect and then paste itself onto other files.

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#30

Trying To Find Music. Unsuccessfully

Mp3 sites where you'd click a link, and be transferred to a similar site... in which you should click and repeat the process, only to find nothing in the end. Some had names like "illegal-mp3s.com" or something.

peaceintheatlantic Report

Toujin C'Thlu
Community Member
1 year ago

And MP3 files that didn't contain the song you were looking for, but an ad of some kind.

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Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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