The Internet has now been around long enough that we are ready to start reminiscing about it. Though a generation of children has grown up spending every waking moment on the net (and not knowing what 9/11 and The Real World are) we aging gen-X and Ys can recall a time when the Internet was special. Nay, precious.

A new project, “When all of my friends are on at once,” collects the adolescent reminiscences of 48 web and tech-centric artists. The project came together with the help of Gene Mchugh. The results are fascinating and hilarious and have also been collected into a book that will be published soon.

“Sometimes I’d chat with a guy for a long time and when he wanted to meet me,” writes Juan Amaya, “I’d send them to the homes of straight guys I had silent crushes on, as a private joke to myself.”

Julie Grosche had something else absurd in mind:

It’s a pretty insignificant experience but I know that that same spring of 1998, Koko the sign language speaker gorilla did as well her first web chat on AOL. This is the end of the conversation she had with her fans:

KOKO: Huff.* Visitor Koko-love lips lipstick lip.
PENNY: ‘Visitor Koko-love lips lipstick lip.’ She loves you guys.
AOL: I love her too!
PENNY: They say they love you too Koko. They love you.
KOKO: Have good-kiss* go.
PENNY: ‘Have good’ it looked like she said. That was ‘good’ that you love her.
AOL: I’d like to see you some time!
Koko picks up her plastic troll doll.

Here’s to being a kid on the internet.

Read more on the project's appropriately spartan website

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[via Rhizome]