I well remember the day my family bought a computer (a Radio Shack TRS 80). I was in tenth grade…I was the only person I knew who had a computer at home…I remember staying up REALLY late (on a school night) to help my dad set it up. The “computer lab” at school had three computers…two of them had modems (1200 baud!). And I used to hang around after school and log onto MECC, which was a network that linked all the schools in Minnesota. I’m sure there was another purpose for MECC, but all I remember was sending messages and chatting. I would never have met my husband if not for MECC.
I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota…and I can remember a particular trip to the Twin Cities with my parents when I was 16 or 17. They went to a Gopher game, and I hopped on a city bus by myself, took it to Har-Mar Mall in Roseville, and met some guy (not my husband…he actually came to me when we met for the first time!) I’d been chatting with online. I did this with my parents’ complete knowledge and permission! It was always fun to meet someone from MECC face to face. No parent in their right mind would EVER allow such a thing today.