Warning: This article will tell you about how a video unleashes the power of…THE INTERNET!
Terrifying, I know!
From whitebread families who learn computers, to whitebread kids (and their friends) who learn how to use the internet, the information superhighway and its associated technologies are falling into the hands of 1990 Training Video People in a terrifying way.
I’m sure Training Video People is a thing.
The 1990s (specifically, the mid-late 1990s) was full of training videos on mastering the use of the computer, as taught by families and children to make the instruction more on a level people can relate with. And just when I thought I found the worst that computer training videos have to offer…a pair of mom jeans smacked me in the face and said “no, you have yet to see…the worst!”
What I got was 1997’s Moms On The Net.
Catchy title, wouldn’t you say?
It’s The Sequel To Mom Jamison You Never Asked For!
Seriously, take the mom from The Jamison Family videos, clone her (with one having red hair), and you’ve got Moms On The Net. This how-to follows Trish, Deb, and Melanie (or Mel) as they harness THE POWER (!) of the internet!
Trish Kasey (of The Mommy Times, an online magazine) and Deb Roum (a computer consultant and owner of “Deb’s Webs,” a web design company) are actually professionals who, in 1997, specialized in getting women (including moms) not just interested in the internet, but effectively using the internet for their daily needs through their “Moms on the Net” seminars. Melanie, their friend, is going to learn the gist of what the internet has to offer.
In actuality, this video does tap into a often passed over group of internet learners – women. Ok, more specifically – adult women. Because us girls of the 1990s were using the internet (ok, I was using the internet!), but our moms were not.
However, these Moms Of The Internet look way too much like how television depicts the 1990s mom – mom jeans, those sweaters, the hair. The “Mom Jeans” commercial on Saturday Night Live was clearly modelling itself after Moms On The Net!
You’ll never unsee the horror of Mom Jeans…
Or a family in…matching denim shirts!
It’s like they were prepared at any time to have a 1990s family portrait done!
What Do The Moms “On The Net” Teach?
This comprehensive step-by-step video explains what a network is, how to send an email, the history of the internet (created in 1969 by the Department of Defense, and originally intended for educational purposes), online services, and necessary equipment (computer, phone line, internal or external modem, ISP account, and ISP software).
The method of communication to the web is also mentioned, with overviews of long distance company, a telephone, browser, and search engines. Email, and the all important Net-equette on avoiding typing in ALL CAPS so that your message isn’t conveyed as shouting (like anyone listens to this part!) round out the topics.
There’s a demonstration on sending an email, and a real-world application that proves anyone can use the internet with the right instruction.
Which involves Not Fabio visiting your house to “deliver flowers.”
I’m pretty sure she’s doing more with him that teaching the internet.
Tapping Into…THE POWER!
The emphasis through much of this video (all 21 minutes of it) is on the tapping into of THE POWER (!) of the internet and what it has to offer.
Seriously, they like to say THE POWER (!) alot. Like, every few minutes.
Once you get past the terrible acting and clothing (I was a teenager in the mid-late 1990s, and I honestly don’t remember the clothes these moms wore being this embarrassing!), the meat of what these working moms set out to teach is actually quite valuable.
Much like The Kids Guide To The Internet sought to make using the internet relatable on a kid-friendly level, allowing kids to explain it to other kids without the usual condescending tone we’ve never been ok with, Moms on the Net explains the internet the mother/woman who may not have yet embraced technology. It makes the internet not look intimidating, and again, doesn’t use the condescending tone.
Let’s face it, the non-teacher types among us are jerks when it comes to explaining the internet to our parents, but we also assume because we picked it up so easily, our parents should too, and just as easily as we were able to.
Thing is, we were guided by our teachers in school how to use it, so of course, we’ve always assumed parents are no different from our teachers. I think that applies to any computer application, be it sending emails, downloading pictures, uploading pictures.
And then there’s social media posts that burn your eyes. All caps, chain posts about being old (the horror!), and even profanities. If you thought your thirty-something friends were the only ones that cursed, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen your 65-year-old relatives posting profanities, in ALL CAPS, and all of their Facebook followers responding in the same fashion! Good lord, it is soooo embarrassing!
I’ve explained Net-equette to my own parents. My mom gets it, and my dad has gotten much better with it. I think my mom drove home the point of why you don’t use ALL CAPS better than I did. Apparently. saying “just don’t use them” is better than “it looks like you’re shouting!” But I learned it the exact way Trish said it, so…it has to be true!
At least this video glosses over the subject of ALL CAPS, but I’m sure anyone who actually does that would never have listened. Perhaps they’re too busy shouting in typed form to hear?
Oh, and if you like vintage website and search engines, I’ve got a treat for you!
Alta Vista was my go-to until I discovered Lycos. And when Google became popular, I ditched both search engines.
How about phone numbers for ISPs, both online and national?
Dated videos about the early years of a now-widespread subject are always silly with stuff like this!
Watch Moms On The Net!
Because you feel obligated!
Upload via Quinn St. Clair
And because you feel obligated to sit through 21 minutes of mom resources for learning the ins of the internet, you should also know about the hosts – Trish Kasey is a finance manager/professional, creator of Mom’s Score Bee. She lives in Irvine, California. Deb Roum lives in Glendale, but there is not much information about her.
The kids, husband, and yes, Melanie, are actors (Mel’s real name is Valli Dawn Flores). Fabio does not play the delivery guy.
Mommy Times (mommytimes.com) doesn’t exist anymore, but there is .net counterpart.
He’s a YouTuber, and the reason I even knew this video existed.
And Now, You!
What is your experience with the internet? How old were you when you learned how to access it? What were your points of interest? Did you ever teach a family member to use the internet, or was it the other way around.
And for the moms that may see this, what was your experience learning to use the internet? Do you use the internet for the types of things these moms do?
And if you’re just as embarrassed about the fashion as probably 95% of people watching this (seriously, did we wear these clothes in the 90s?!), tell me that too! In fact, embarrassing 90s fashion missteps. Discuss!
Tell me your internet learning experience stories, I’d love to hear them!
I haven’t planned ahead for next week’s article, but I’m hoping to find something related to learning about computers or the internet (or both) in that awesome 1990s way. I know resources are pretty vast, so I should find something. Count on January being rounded out with another look at computer and internet learning,
Until then, have a great day, and be sure to tap into THE POWER (!) of the Net!