Back in the late 1980s my wife asked me what all those noises that came from a modem at the beginning of an on-line session were. I told her that the modem on her desk was negotiating with the modem at the other end to find out what each was capable of, so that they could communicate for the rest of the session with the most advanced protocol that they shared in common.
She said, “That’s what you do when you first meet someone at a party, isn’t it?”
I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I had to admit that she was right.
It doesn’t work so well on the Internet.