I was seven years old when I started regularly using the internet. I used WebTV with a dial-up connection. My first website was created with the WebTV pagebuilder tool. My first username ever was ‘tabltop’.
When I was ten, my grandma got an iMac G4. I stayed at my grandma’s during the summer but the computer was in her bedroom. Every night when she went to bed, I would disconnect the phone from the wall in the kitchen and jack in with my laptop and a spare cable.
I had a lot of disappointing realizations when I reached adulthood. At the same time, one of my greatest fantasies about the future came true: the internet was everywhere.
I was in college the first time I felt truly excluded by not having a smartphone. It was 2011ish, that’s not very long ago.
My wish was granted, but at what cost? A truckload of clickbait, all of our personal data and a loss of self-expression, creativity and genuine community.
It’s funny… I actually do web development for my job, so I’m always thinking about how to make our websites better by following more rules.
The experience of reclaiming the old web by starting my Neocities site is thrilling because the rules don’t apply. I’ve grown in power because now I can do all of these crazy web design tricks and there’s no limitations on how I want to use them.