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Old 03-27-2020, 05:30 AM
psychonaut is online now
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 6,390
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
We wouldn't have the calm, soothing presence of social media.
Some of us would have. Dial-up networks, including local bulletin boards and (inter)national online services like CompuServe, Delphi, Prodigy, and Quantum Link (the predecessor of AOL) were booming then. Even many local, privately operated BBSes were part of international networks like FidoNet, and some of them even had gateways to "social media" parts of the Internet like USENET. Of course, only about 15% of households had a computer in 1990, and of those not all had a modem, though I bet the self-isolation would have led to a sharp spike in awareness of online services and (mail-order) modem sales. If anything, a 1990 coronavirus pandemic could have greatly hastened the public adoption and growth of the online world.