Here is a riddle for you. Let's say it's 1995. You want to go online to the Internet that you have been hearing so much about. You have a computer, and you bought a slick new 26k modem. Now what? How do you get on the Internet if you don't have the Internet?
Wonderful vintage 1995 AOL commercial
"You know, I can even send e-mail on the Internet!"
In 1995 the answer was, you wait until this commercial comes on TV and then you call the 800 number. You gave them your shipping information, and they mailed you a disk and in two weeks the disk arrived and you installed it on your computer and THEN you could go online.
(Well, you could go on AOL. Which wasn't the internet, per se. It was a walled garden, and a lot of people never really understood the difference.)
This was in the relatively early days of AOL, before they started shotgunning their disks (and later CDs) to every single human being in the United States. A move which would eventually land them on the wrong side of a class action lawsuit.
But that lawsuit was still well in the future when they aired this ad, which apparently stars two football players? Maybe baseball players. I don't know, and they never refer to each other by name. Or maybe they did, but I was too hypnotized by their super high-waisted jeans. Hard to say.
Let me give you a little tip: Your friends won't be amazed and grateful when you show them how easily you can improve their primitive lives with your clever new gadget. They will be annoyed, bitter and secretly jealous, and resent you forever.
I also love that the guys printed out information on "dinosaurs." Because the one guy's son needed to go to the library to research "dinosaurs." Why not just print it all out instead, using your giant bubble jet printer? Just print out the section of the Internet on "dinosaurs" and boom, you're done.
"Of course there's always my personal favorite, live chat. That's how I met my new kayaking buddies."
LOLRIGHT. Unless "kayaking" was slang for some deviant sex practice favored by middle aged guys cheating on their wives. We all know what people did with live chat in the mid 90s. AOL pitched itself as a family friendly walled garden, but dang some of those chat rooms got raunchy. Or so I have heard.