Once we could actually forge a connection, that is.I'd sit for scores of minutes at a time, waiting impatiently for that little running AOL man to enter his successive phase of connectedness.
The internet was a new and exciting place, and it seemed like a safe and inpenetrable fortress of unsupervised mischief.
Words like "modem failure" and "inability to connect" haunted us, forcing us to redial and redial until finally we could enter our glorious online community.
At our house, there were three potential modem phone numbers with which to reach the internet, and we'd frantically alternate between our options, forever seeking a signal. No sooner than we'd heard that familiar robotically enthusiastic declaration "You've Got Mail!
Mind you, this was years before Chris Hansen was popping in to offer you a seat while the decoy internet teen went to go check on the hot tub.
There was no catching of predators, no online policing, just pure, unadulterated dangerous fun.