Men, I feel old.
My first experience with a modem was with an old 300 baud modem coupled to the C64 with a rs-232 adapter I soldered myself. The problem back then was that there were almost no BBS or anything, at least here. So to test it I phoned a friend (with the same setup) and chatted for maybe five minutes... It was back in 1983. Never touched a modem again till much later on, that time with a 1200 baud one and the Amiga, and a nice BBS.
I started using Internet at the uni, in 1995.