A little Show & Tell of what was involved in going online in 1979 and doing a very early form of social media. The computer used is a TRS-80 Model II, the modem is a rebranded Novation CAT, and the telephone is a Western Electric model 500.
In 1979, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, graduates of Duke University, created an early predecessor to dial-up Internet access called the USENET. The USENET was a UNIX based system that used a dial-up connection to transfer data through telephone modems.
Because there was no technology to allow different carrier signals on a telephone line at the time, dial-up internet access relied on using audio communication. In exactly the same way that one might pick up the phone and talk to someone, a modem would take the digital data from a computer, modulate it into an audio signal and send it to a receiving modem.
Amazing how far we have come in 40 years. Looking forward another 40 years, I expect.Holograms as display; no more screens. Voice recognition and hand gesture recognition.Still leaves open the question of security and authentication. Maybe voiceprint along with a physical mechanism?