“Why is this video so slow to load?!” asked my mom is frustration. The year is 2011. The internet speed is faster than ever.
“That’s a 12 minute video. The traffic is too much. It’ll take some time” I said. Mom just grew more frustrated. She didn’t want to wait. She is new to the cyber world. Not very new; 2 years max. She is only used to the zooming speed of the business Wi-Fi connection.
For a moment, I paused and pondered over the growth of the cyber world.
My father has always been a gadget guy. He would know about every new gadget introduced. So it was not a shocker when his beautiful daughter (Meeee) started using the internet at the age of 5. In this generation, toddlers surfing the web is no news. But remember, I am talking about the year 1999. I can’t say internet wasn’t common that time. It was. Cyber cafés used to be open in every street because many of the people did not have computers back then. We had a computer at home (Of course we had!) with the net connection.
I used to see beautiful dolls and colourful pictures when my sister sat on the computer. Being a 5 year old, I was a stubborn little kid and demanded I get to use the “com-pi-cuter”- as I used to call it. Though resisted at first, my father grew tired of my whining and let me use it. He opened up Paint for me and showed me how to colour. I was hooked. It was amazing to colour without using actual colours!
It was entertaining for a while. Then I grew bored of it. I wanted to use the internet. I did not know what it was called then. All I knew was that you could see Barbie pictures in it. After a lot of whining (again!), my father instructed my sister to teach me how to use the web- www.barbie.com that is. My sister being 9 years old at the time wasn’t much pleased with her younger sister using the internet. She was jealous because she never got to use it at my age. She reluctantly asked me to type “w w w….”. I took around 10 minutes to find all the letters on the keyboard. I turned to my sister to tell me what to do next. “Hit enter you idiot! Don’t you know anything?! Urgh!” She screamed and walked away. She was just displaying the usual tantrums of the older sibling.
Thus I entered the intricate web called the internet.
Since that day, I slowly taught myself how to use the web. It was really hard for a child with no guidance. At times the whole computer would just get stuck and I would slowly turn and walk away because I had no clue on what to do with it.
If you remember, we did not have Wi-Fi that time. We had to use a wire to connect the computer to some socket. You had to type in a password and user name and click ‘connect’. A weird noise would come up. Everyone that used internet before the Wi-Fi would know what I am talking about. After the noise dies, you are connected to the web. Until you disconnect, you won’t be able to use your landline. If you pick up the phone, the weird noise would start again and the net connection would die.
Dad used to give me and my sister half an hour each every Friday to use the internet. Half an hour a week! Today, half an hour online would swiftly pass by within seconds. That too the internet then was the slowest you could imagine. The snail used to drag and drag and drag and finally the page would load. You could never even imagine loading a video and watching it. The half an hour given would go off in just loading. But I and my sister, being young then probably, were satisfied. 25 minutes were all we needed to go to the Barbie website and play games there. The last 5 minutes, we would just look here and there figuring out what else to do.
As we grew up, so did the technology. Dad upgraded the internet and made it Wi-Fi. We did not have laptops yet then. Therefore a wire was used to connect the computer to the modem. Internet was available 24/7- but it was protected by a password. Every Friday, dad would grant us one hour. That was that. The speed was still dead and slow but we were fine with it because we were used to that.
As time passed by, dad started forgetting, intentionally or unintentionally, very much to our benefit, to switch off the modem. We started using the web almost as often as every day (Lame. Hah). The cyber speed was very high and it started increasing with every dying day.
That brings us to today.
“Why is this video so slow to load?!” asked my mom is frustration.
“Mom!” I sighed. “You should have used internet in my times. Then you would know what slow is.”