How the Internet Changed Pop Culture in the 1990s

The decade of the 1990s was a particularly historic time. We had just emerged as the Cold War victors over the former Soviet Union, fixed-line telephones were still in vogue, and the general public got its first taste of the internet.

In 1992 the World Wide Web (www) had a meager 26 sites. Within just five years in 1997, this figure had exploded to well over a million sites. Most of the content available at the time appealed more to nerds and geeks. The internet has revolutionized almost all aspects of our daily lives. The entertainment industry has been amongst those most profoundly affected by the internet. Not only has it changed the way we experience entertainment but has also changed the distribution model in numerous ways.

Fans Finally Get the Chance to Directly Influence Pop Culture

We live in the golden age of fandom. Just moments after finishing the latest episode of a show or movie, you can go to an app online on any one of your multiple devices, and post your feedback about the content to let its creators know how it was. Video apps, like YouTube, are like modern theatre. This kind of communication is a fairly recent phenomenon. Before the 90s, most people could do nothing more than rant to themselves or their family and friends if they did not like a movie or show. They could write a letter to production companies expressing their displeasure, but who would have time to make that much effort?

Back then media houses could get away with creating poor content. Since common people had no communication medium to express their opinion at will, film and TV studios had zero public accountability. With the internet, people now could actively voice their opinion for the first time. Many shows, like Babylon 5, had online groups, where fans were able to communicate with the creators of the show. The creators would sometimes change their show’s script based on public demand. So this allowed fans to directly influence the show’s content. Some iconic entertainment franchises, like South Park, which originated in the 90s, would not even exist today if it were not for the internet. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, started by launching short videos on the show. It was one of the first-ever videos to go viral on the internet.

The internet allowed ambitious fan projects to transform into renowned entertainment industry platforms. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) began as a website where Usenet contributors would post lists of attractive female celebrities. Rotten Tomatoes started as one guy’s mission to archive Jackie Chan film reviews. Today they are both leading platforms for checking film ratings and reviews. They have a comprehensive list, covering just about any movie made across the world. It was like the internet rewarding the geeks that made it all possible. America Online (AOL) had its origins as a service to download games for the Atari 2600. Netscape Navigator was originally intended to be an online network for Nintendo 64 before its makers had a change of mind and decided to launch it as the world’s first internet browser.

The internet also offered music fans a lot to cheer about. It allowed them to communicate directly with their favorite musicians. The concept of online crowd-funding also originated in the 90s when a band called Marillion sought funding from their online fans for a performance tour in 1997. The following year, in 1998, late David Bowie started his Internet Service Provider (ISP) to allow his followers to connect with him and view live-streaming of his performances.

Summing up

For better or worse, the internet has truly changed the way we live and function in society today. From the early dial-up era of the 90s to today’s 5G and fiber, the internet has indeed come a long way. We are so dependent on this technology now that life comes to a standstill whenever there are disruptions to the internet. We all would like to enjoy uninterrupted internet service. That is why you should choose to get connected with MetroNet. With speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1 Gig, you will always remain satisfied. Skip to the future with MetroNet Fiber.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *