Yeah, sure, now you can lose 20 per cent of your pay cheque to ASOS and stalk people you once had science class with on Facebook until your eyes bleed, but your beige Windows 97 computer was way more fun back in the day.
1. Entering beauty contests and getting lost in weird furnitute mazes on Habbo Hotel. It was like social media/grooming of pre-teens all rolled into one. Err, dreamy?
2. Asking Jeeves. He had the answer to every flipping question in the world, aside from the one you needed for your homework. Ahh.
3. Curing Bloated Head syndrome on Theme Hospital and then, according to a newspaper article, committing suicide in the hospital toilets when all your machines blew up and there was sick on EVERY SINGLE PATCH OF FLOOR, FFS.
4. Sending bulletins on MySpace to let the world (and Tom, obvs) know about your day at school and all the teenage angsts and pains going through your life rn.
5. Downloading Black Eyed Peas and the Sugababes from Limewire and WinMx because how else would you get them onto your super snazzy new MP3 player, huh? HUH?
6. If you ran out of phone credit (because your Dad wouldn’t top it up again after you’d spent £10 in a day texting a boy) you could just use a website to send texts ¯\(ツ)/¯
7. Putting subtle song lyrics in your MSN Messenger screen name to let people know what was really going through your mind – subtle, gentle, hinting lyrics like ‘I can’t get you out of my head’ and ‘we belong together’. Good work.
8. Also spending the best part of a year playing around with different colours and fonts on MSN so that you came across in conversations as a beautiful, popular, intelligant, hilarious young woman. Settling on pink, because obviously.
9. Building your dream family in The Sims, having your child taken away by social services, setting your kitchen on fire, thinking FUCK THIS and drowning everyone in the swimming pool by taking away the stairs. Haha, suckers.
10. Using the Encarta Encyclopedia on your computer to answer pretty much all of your life questions about the heart and famous British explorers.
11. Spending three hours straight trying to win Solitaire. Not feeling like you’d wasted time because SOLITAIRE, GUYS.
12. And then spending another three hours in fierce Scrabble and Battleship games on MSN, because you were a winner.
13. But having your MSN status as appear offline the entire time because FUCK someone ugly or boring trying to talk to you when you were trying to save your good chat for someone you fancied from school.
14. Buying a Webcam with your Christmas money and then declaring it to be ‘broken’ to 95 per cent of people who asked you to go on it. Because IMAGINE if people saw you in your Forever Friends pyjamas with no make-up on, just imagine.
15. Scanning in all your holidays pics and then putting them into a cute collage on Paint to use as your new desktop background.
16. Keeping all your favourite games in a snazzy little CD case and then getting a new computer and wanting to cry for eternity because you’d lost the boxes with all the serial number on. Fuck your life and everything in it.
17. Mouse mats. Just, mouse mats <3
18. Spending 62 per cent of your homework time just trying to perfect your WordArt – shadow or no shadow?
19. The constant fear that someone would pick up the phone and disconnect you from your exciting online life at any given moment.
20. Bebo skins. Beautiful, witty profile backgrounds that you spent hours searching for that gave the world an insight into your soul.
21. Having random people A/S/L? you and going along merrily with it because NEW INTERNET FRIENDS, YEY!
22. Having approximately a 22 minute wait between turning your computer on and actually being able to use it because ALL THE LOADING.
23. Being BFFs with the Microsoft Word paper clip because he absolutely had your back.
24. Creating animals on NeoPets, playing games so that you could afford to build them houses made of chocolate and jelly and then them getting sick and spending hours searching for a rare medicine in the marketplace. Life.
25. Playing Cheop’s Pyramid at school because maths could be fun you guys!
26. Using the spray can tool on Paint because you’ll do what the fuck you like with your day.
27. Playing Rollercoaster and Zoo Tycoon and feeling like you’d probably definitely be an entrepreneur when you were older. Fur sure. Yup.
28. Having four of you huddled round one computer to play Worms because you were going to bomb some shit up.
29. Doing all of the above from the family computer situated in the lounge where everyone could see your screen, FFS mortified.