Why we must keep the virtual experience alive

Looking back at my childhood during the 1990s, I now realize that the Internet and I have a pretty good relationship – we grew up together.

As trite as this may sound, the Internet targeted everyone, but more specifically generation Y. I remember rushing home from school to plug the modem into the phone jack, creating a dead line that blocked all incoming phone calls, all to get connected to the Internet.

I lived for that free flow of information and connectivity to the world outside of my enclosed bedroom. That AOL voice that said 'Welcome' opened the doors to a central nucleus in which I was granted access to everyone from around the world at my fingertips.

The good thing was that it was all free. Even as a child, I understood that these "free" Web sites made money from those pop-up and banner ads that appeared everywhere. I knew that I was being targeted by outside companies, but I understood the value of the Internet, and continued to log on and participate.