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But there were also other avenues for social interaction long before the Internet exploded onto the mainstream consciousness.
Long before it became the commercialized mass information and entertainment juggernaut it is today, long before it was accessible to the general public, and certainly many years before Al Gore claimed he “took the initiative in creating” it, the Internet – and its predecessors – were a focal point for social interactivity.
Granted, computer networking was initially envisioned in the heyday of The Beatles as a military-centric command and control scheme.
Not only could you send a message to your friend via a newfangled technology dubbed “e-mail” (granted, the concept of e-mail wasn’t exactly newfangled at the time, though widespread public access to it was).
What’s more, this whole sitting-in-front-of-a-keyboard thing was so… Put all this together and you have a medium where only the most ardent enthusiasts and techno-babbling hobbyists dared tread.
It was, in effect, a breeding ground for pocket-protector-wearing societal rejects, or nerds. Yet it also was during this time, and with a parade of purportedly antisocial geeks at the helm, that the very gregarious notion of social networking would take its first steps towards becoming the omnipresent cultural phenomenon we know and love in 2014. Short for Bulletin Board System, these online meeting places were effectively independently-produced hunks of code that allowed users to communicate with a central system where they could download files or games (many times including pirated software) and post messages to other users.