It’s amazing how quickly people start to take things for granted in terms of technology. Fast broadband is something that most households with the internet enjoy. Sometimes they may not think their broadband is really all that speedy, but remember the days when a dial-up connection was the only option available at home?
Those days were very different for internet users. Social networking didn’t have much of a presence in those days and the forms it took were low maintenance because most people’s connections just couldn’t take anything more sophisticated. Nowadays, people chat, watch videos and share all sorts of things through Facebook.
There was almost no TV available online for households. Streaming was poor quality and very slow so it often wasn’t worth the frustration. You either used your TV at the right times, taped things or simply accepted that you’d missed out. You certainly couldn’t enjoy any online activity on the move.
The same went for radio although you could listen to certain things online. Nevertheless, the constant interruptions provided by your connection trying to catch up were hard to accept. It was easier just to have the radio on.
That’s what it came down to a lot of the time. The internet didn’t really replace too many things. It stood as an addition. It was great as a research tool and as a way for companies to trade in a new way. It was great for giving people access to information (relatively) quickly and it certainly paved the way to make email the most popular form of communication in business.
However, you still needed your radio and your TV. You still needed your bookshelf and your morning paper. You still needed to go to your place of work every day and visit people for specific information or to share things socially. You still needed a telephone and a bit of know-how in terms of sorting out your wires!
It’s little wonder that online activity has erupted since ordinary people have been able to use broadband and take advantage of quicker speeds that load pages instantly, download music and video rapidly, stream images without hassle and don’t fail when you need to buy tickets for a hotly anticipated event or pay for a holiday!
Sure, some people miss the unmistakable sound of the internet connection dialling up, but that’s not much of a reason to mourn the fact that we’ve moved on since those early days of home internet use!
This article was written by Andrew Pomfret, mobile broadband expert and blogger.