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    A Generation Y Guide To Social Media History

    Let’s take a look back at the long, data-fueled road that has led us to where we are today — checking our Facebook pages every 15 minutes, where you saw this link and felt the need to click on it instead of doing something productive. Luckily, this post includes a valuable history lesson and not just a Tumblr of cat GIFs. When you're done reading, log out and go cure cancer already.

    10 free hours a month? How do they stay in business?!


    ”Dial-up” internet actually made it’s debut in 1969, if you can believe it. But we best remember it as the sound of signing in to America Online in the 1990s — fingers crossed you didn’t hear the dreaded busy signal. You only have 30 minutes of your 10 free hours for the month left, and you need to meet that cute m/15/boston in the teen chatroom ASAP. Hmmm, that grainy, slow-loading picture he sent you looks an awful lot like Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

    The sound of human interaction dying.


    The Prodigy online service debuted in 1984, but 90s kids will only remember what Prodigy was if your parents were too cheap to spring for America Online. AOL came out the next year, bringing with it those three little words every preteen in the 90s longed to hear — “You’ve Got Mail.” FYI, be sure to think long and hard about your screen name. You may be a fan of a certain Gavin Rossdale fronted band, but the strangers you talk to on the internet don’t know that.

    Yes, this is real. Thank you, MS Paint.

    me / Via

    Geocities made its world wide web debut in 1994. Who didn’t have a Geocities fansite? I most definitely did not... I held out a couple years for Angelfire. If anyone frequented Roswell fan-run websites in the late 90s you may recognize me from Michael and Maria Online... no big deal — They say anything that you put on the internet is there forever, although I'm not sure this is quite what they meant. But, I’ll own it. Extra points if you can track down my fan fiction. Oh, and by Roswell, I mean The WB television show, not the UFO incident. THAT would be nerdy.

    Try sitting here eating a bag of Fritos.


    AOL Instant Messenger is released in 1997, rendering human interaction unnecessary and breeding a generation of terrible face-to-face communicators who would rather wait two days for someone to reply to an e-mail than pick up the phone and speak with them directly. And by directly, I mean still from a distance and without eye contact, but by opening one’s mouth and making sounds.

    It's 2003, welcome to MySpace.


    A place for friends – and creepy old men with Wi-Fi in their windowless white vans.

    One year later...


    MySpace?? Pshhh. The Facebook was introduced at Hahvahd in 2004… But if you went to a state school, you would have to wait a few years for it to tumble downhill to us plebeians.

    Smile and say 'daddy issues.'


    Facebook expanded its reach in 2006 to include anyone over the age of 13 with an e-mail address. Because that’s what teenagers need: a public forum to post overly made-up duck face pictures of themselves dressed in Victoria’s Secret Pink sweatpants.

    If only it were this easy in real life.

    The word “unfriend” is added to the New Oxford American Dictionary as the “word of the year” for 2009 – queue the locusts and start stockpiling canned food.

    1.99 for a cell phone game?!


    In 2010, Apple released the iPad — a device that made desktop computers look like overweight robots. 90s kids regale the Angry Birds generation with tales of a little game called Snake played on Nokia cell phones the size of bricks. This will become the "walking to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways" of our generation.



    It's 2014. Want to know your second cousin’s personal best running time? Check Facebook. How about what your ex-boyfriend’s sister had for lunch? Look how the salt glistens in that Lo-Fi filter. Word to the wise, best friend’s little brother, maybe don’t take your LinkedIn profile picture with your cell phone in the mirror. Or maybe do — this unemployment thing is no joke and it's time to thin the herd.