Where did our internet faves come from?

The internet is always blowing us away with new and amazing things. But sometimes it looks a little familiar...

We use the internet to share our lives on social media, order groceries, pay bills, stream movies, Google a question, check the weather… and that’s just the beginning. With thousands of people in Saskatchewan using infiNET every day, it’s hard to believe that a few decades ago, the internet didn’t even exist!

But we’re thankful it does, and we’ve been thrilled to help keep the province connected for many years. So as a 2020 toast to the internet and the wonderful things it brings, let’s browse through retro-ville and see how far we’ve come.


Then: Movie rental store
Now: maxTV On Demand

There was definitely something magical about hitting up your local movie store and bringing home the latest flick. However, scratched DVDs, rewinding VHS tapes, late fees, and popular movies being in short supply make us pretty grateful to have the magic that is maxTV On Demand.

Then: Pen Pals
Now: Chat apps

Keeping in touch with friends far away used to mean they were a pen pal or you’d have to swallow the long-distance landline fees. When MSN Messenger came along, it blew our minds with how you could instantly message someone. Now, apps like Discord and WhatsApp keep the latest generation connected at lightning speeds. Oh, and video chatting from anywhere like it’s no big deal. Thank you internet, and thank you unlimited data plans.

Then: Workout VHS tapes
Now: Online fitness coaches

Home exercise really started to take off in the 1970s when Jazzercise became a thing. Soon after, fitness gurus started hitting the scene. By the 90s, millions had purchased collections of VHS tapes from Richard Simmons, Kathy Smith, Jane Fonda, and more. Now, search for a workout on YouTube or subscribe to an on-demand program, and you’ll immediately be on your way to wellness.

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Then: View-Master®
Now: VR headsets

Some of us probably remember the enchanting feeling of looking into a View-Master® for the first time. It felt so immersive! Now, when putting on a VR headset, your entire body feels like it’s been seamlessly transported to another dimension—it’s incredible. If you haven’t tried VR yet, you can actually use your smartphone and pair it with an affordable VR headset to watch videos in 3D!

Then: Store catalogues
Now: Online shopping

Even though online shopping has evolved faster than you can say ‘Amazon Prime’, it’s fun to remember just how much joy those big catalogues brought us. Now, virtual shopping is the norm. You can instantly price match, find coupons, watch someone unbox it on Youtube, and peep a hashtag on Twitter to see what people are saying. Ready to buy? Just a few taps to pay and it’ll be on your doorstep—and you can track it every step of the way until it gets there!

Then: A bottle of milk delivered
Now: Meal kits and groceries delivered

Whoever came up with the idea of fresh milk on your doorstep certainly had the right idea. Fresh IS best, and in 2020, there are many companies offering fresh food options to show up at your door. If your family is always on the go, you can save a ton of time by ordering food from your smartphone and skipping the store lines. Phew.

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Then: Encyclopedias
Now: Wikipedia

Most of us probably have a family member with 4 bookshelves worth of clunky encyclopedias. Now, type any person, place, or thing into Wikipedia and you’ll instantly get the full scoop. You’ll also probably end up reading about something entirely unrelated—because one click on a Wiki page means about 12 more clicks onto other pages you never intended to. Yay for extra knowledge.

Then: Mixtapes
Now: Streaming playlists

Back in the day, when new music was released, there would be a lineup around the block to buy it. Or you’d sit by the radio for hours with your finger ready to record a song onto cassette. Or you might have burned your own CD’s and kept them in a binder that was bursting at the seams. Now: open your phone, tap the music streaming service of your choice, and listen to any song in crystal clear fidelity. How DID we function before unlimited music streaming?

Then: Mood rings
Now: Status updates

Ok, maybe these colourful rings weren’t the most reliable way to gauge a mood, but now we have news feeds and status updates to let the world know how we’re feeling. It’s actually pretty amazing that we can instantly share our thoughts and relate to each other on a whole new level. The internet has definitely helped encourage conversations about mental health and we can all do our part in making the internet a great place to be.

Sask Tel internet favs

In the end, we’re pretty grateful for the past and how it paved the way for so many things we love today. With a brand new year just beginning, we have a good feeling that there’s only bigger and better things to come. So, make sure you’re connected to infiNET so you don’t miss a thing! Check out availability in your area here.

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We built Saskatchewan’s favourite networks so you can stay close to your people who matter most. Whether you’re overseas or just around the corner, we make sure you’re always connected to your friends, family, and your world.