Kids born much after 2000 have grown up with the Internet and digital technology all around them, as evidenced by the name given to them: digital natives. The Net is no more amazing to them than TV, radio and telephone were to me growing up in the 80s and early 90s. I took them for granted because they were simply there.
On the other hand, I never even heard of the Internet till I was in high school, so was wowed and amazed by it when I finally got the chance to use it in depth in 1997.
So how about everyone here (at least those who were born before the 90s)? When was the first time you heard of the Net and when did you first use it? What were your first impressions, given that the Internet of yesterday was largely text based and very slow to use?
My story is that I was taking a community college course in the 1996-97 school year. I was doing reasonably well in the class, but then somehow found out about the computer lab upstairs with computers connected to the Internet, which I'd heard of a few years earlier and was rather curious about. Class forgotten, I spent my evenings at the community college looking up random things on gopher (I don't remember if any of the computers used the World Wide Web, or just older search utilities like Gopher, Archie, etc.), and ended up with a D in the class. It was worth it though.