When it comes to the Internet, I grew up in the time of dial up internet connections and a speed of 56 kbit/s. Oh yeah.

Patience was certainly a virtue back then. If you wanted to get anything done on the Internet, you needed to prepare yourself for long periods of just starting at the screen, waiting for something to load.

You were also initially greeted by the infamous dial up Internet sound. For those of you who are too young to remember, here’s a little video of it to show you what we had to go through.

And yet, this dial up Internet world was a huge part of my first introduction to a computer at the age of 12, and the Internet itself became a place where I would spend the majority of my time to this day.

I was initially lost on the Internet and had no idea what to do on it other than play a few games here and there. There were not many blogs or websites at the time (or at least none that were interesting for me).

That is until I discovered forums.

Even then, forums existed on all sorts of different topics, but my favorite ones were about fandoms. Different fandoms from all over the world came together to discuss books, music, and movies in great detail and with an incredible amount of passion.

At the time, no one used their real name on the Internet. All sorts of usernames came together for no other purpose other than to share their passion for a fictional world or a specific character or idol, and to then write long essays and fan fiction on these topics.

Looking back, these forums were actually my very first writing experience. I didn’t notce it at the time, but I can remember writing my own long discussion pieces and even a few fan fiction pieces here and there.

They were my first attempts at truly trying to create cohesive writing so that I could contribute to a particular fandom with my own view of the topic and perhaps even some of my own ideas and theories.

It didn’t matter whether or not I was actually good at it. The point of writing at the time was to communicate with people across the world in long form, through the written word.

I spent hours each day hanging out on forums and constantly writing replies and starting new discussion topics.

Writing was at the core of everything I did online at the time.

Even though I didn’t know it then, the skills that I developed as a teenager during the time of dial up Internet would end up becoming my main source of income about 15 years later.


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