Fascinating instructional video from 1984 explains to viewers how to use email

Email Instructional Video 1984Image Source: safety.yahoo.com

In 2016, email is inescapable. If you check your email less than 10 times a day, consider yourself lucky, because it has completely taken over many people’s lives. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how we’d communicate to anyone other than family and friends if we didn’t have email to rely on, which makes videos like the one you’re about to watch below all the more hysterical.

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Earlier this month, Atlas Obscura happened across a clip from a 1980s show called Database on YouTube. In the clip, the host of the show gets in touch with a man and a woman who own a computer (which was slightly less common in 1984).

The computer owners do their best (in incredibly awkward fashion) to demonstrate what the computer is capable of, from providing the daily news to offering downloadable software to, yes, sending mail electronically.

As with any relic of the past, it’s both odd and illuminating. Seeing someone dial up a computer and wait for it to answer would baffle anyone who grew up on a cable connection. Imagine trying to explain this video when we’re all on fiber?

My personal favorite moment from the video comes when the host asks Pat (once of the owners) why she bought the computer.

“Well, I was very interested in the new technology and didn’t want to be left behind. I don’t think it’s only for the youngsters at school now. I think us older ones will have to learn a lot about it.”

Good on you, Pat. Watch the full clip below:

Atlas Obscura
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