As a 90s kid, I remember not growing up with a computer. It was something that I learnt in school. Sometimes, I played games like pinball, but internet! – that wasn’t even in my dictionary. When it did start to feature, I felt the thrill of having my own email ID. Back then, Yahoo was the king of the ring, and we remember smiley faces on Yahoo! Messenger. It was cooler than WhatsApp or Facebook messenger I feel. You had the smileys, but you could also change the font type and colour. On top of that, there were chatrooms that we could join based on our interests.  Today’s generation won’t even know the joy. 

Another trend that still exists, but not so popular is the trend of having personal blogs on wordpress.com and blogspot.com. It was like an online diary, and you could share links with people who commented on your diaries. “I remember having blog on wordpress, and the thrill of posting a blog every time something new happened in our lives was so amazing. Also, it wasn’t like everyone we knew in real lives had a blog. It was like an alternate community for antisocial people which is what made it so cool. You can’t write that kind of personal stuff on Facebook, because people you know will read it, and judge you. And it’s not fun to do it on these platforms, because even these antisocial people have started to find it obsolete,” said Poonam Mehra, one of my blogger buddy from the time I was into writing these personal diaries. 

Then there was Orkut, Facebook’s predecessor. “In 2014 when Google announced that orkut would be shutting down, it was a sad moment for us. orkut had become a community of over 300 million people and was such an amazing adventure for all of us. Nobody wanted to lose what we had created together. We met amazing new people. We went on dates. We found new jobs. We even got married and had kids because of orkut,” reads the website now. It was fun in its own way, and there were features like scrapbooks, communities and testimonials that made it as addictive as Facebook, if not more. 

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