13 lessons we can all still appreciate from a 1996 children’s guide to the internet

In 1996, with the internet going commercial and ISPs signing up home-users for service, the Diamond Entertainment Corporation produced a very helpful explainer video about the World Wide Web. The video chronicles the ups and downs of the Jamison family (Mom and Dad, son Peter, and daughter Dasha) as they navigate the newfangled internet with a pair of interlopers, Andrew and Lisa.

The children learn a number of things in the 27-minute video, but strangely, a few of the lessons teach the children in the video things about the Internet that we still need to remind ourselves of on a regular basis.

These are those lessons.

1. The Best Place for Your Computer Is Right in the Middle of Your Living Room

The Internet is on the computer and the computer is where you live now: Why not plunk it down right in the center of your living room? It’s fine right there. Just leave it.

2. The Internet Is a Great Place for People Who Are Bad at Giving Actual High-Fives

“Hey, Andrew. What’s up?”

Look at this high-five. This is not a good high-five. Luckily, the internet allows you to greet and be greeted without having to move your arms in public.

3. There Are Four Essential Components to the Internet

Those components are the World Wide Web, News Groups, E-Mail, and Chat Lines. This is still true today.

4. The Internet Lets You Email President Clinton to Let Him Know What You’re Doing


Still valid; the Clintons love receiving emails. You can also use the backspace to fix any typos before sending President Clinton a request to get more computers in schools.

5. Choose a Strong Password by Just Naming Whatever Is in Front of You

It’s important to use passwords for various internet accounts that are easy to remember, but not easy for others to guess. If your sister is named Dasha, for example, consider using the password DashaSis.

6. The Internet Is Dangerous For Computers, So Take Precautions

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If you’re unsure what it means to defragment something, it’s best to ask someone else until you figure it out.

7. It’s Okay If You Don’t Know the Meanings of Certain Internet Words, Like ‘Download’

“Download” means to transfer information files from a server to your computer.

8. News On The Internet Is Nothing but Weather and Star Wars

CNN, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times know their audience by delivering nothing but news about the weather and Star Wars.

9. The Internet Is Full of Frog-Related Content

Still very much true.

10. The Internet Is A Good Resource to Find Out Information About Actors

What was that movie about dalmatians that Jeff Daniels was in? A question for the Internet, answered.

11. The Internet Can Tell You When The Latest Show by a Hot New Band Is Happening


Do you want to know when Bush is playing next in Florida? Sure, we all do! Plus, tickets can be bought through the Ticketmaster website! Some things never change.

12. To Get Guests To Leave Your House, E-Mail Them

In the movie, the kids email Lisa, who is standing in the living room. “thanks for coming over today,” they write Lisa, presumably while Lisa is still right next to them. The internet makes you passive-aggressive.

13. No One on the Internet Is Who They Say They Are

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Andrew and Lisa, the brother and sister who visit the Jamison family in the video, are IRL siblings.The Jamisons, meanwhile, were never related to each other. The internet is full of lies. .

Surf’s up! We’ll see you on the Net.