The Internet is an ever-growing microcosm filled with unlimited amounts of information. It is a powerful medium that allows people of different cultures and walks of life to communicate and learn more about one another. It gives them an ideal platform to collaborate, share ideas, and engage in intellectual discourse.
In short, the Internet has managed to reduce the distance between people and connect them with one another.
Crediting the invention of the Internet to one person is impossible. Rather, this is an effect of various brilliant minds, working together, and building on each other’s ideas and theories. It is nice to think that the inter-connectedness we appreciate today is a byproduct of their connectedness with one another.
Right now, I would like to attempt to retrace how the evolution of the Internet started.
In the 1960s, many people conceptualized and viewed the Internet as a singular network that allowed people to communicate, connect, and share information. This is the basic framework what we know today.
It was not until the late 1960s that the US Department of Defense created the first prototype. ARPANET, or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was conceptualized to allow sensitive information to be shared in a singular, secured network. This idea was later built on by scientists, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, who envisioned creating a “network or networks.”
Eventually, in the 1990s, this evolution took a major step when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While often mistaken for being the Internet, the WWW, using various links, is a medium to share information. This served as the backbone for what we know today.
Here’s a brief overview of the history of the internet by a YouTube channel called Life Noggin:
Current State of the Internet
After several technological advancements, most especially the boom of computers, the vision of having a multitude of networks being connected with one another, was finally achieved.
Currently, there are over 3.58 million users worldwide, which is more than half of the world’s total population. They use the Internet for many different reasons: research, sharing of information, entertainment, etc.
Arguably, its most practical benefit is its ability to connect people. In a way, it helps make the world smaller and more accessible. This connectivity allows people to know more about different cultures, races, beliefs, religions, and ideologies.
Right now, even if you are living in Asia, you are aware of what is happening in the USA. You can see images and videos online of current events. In the same way, people from the USA are also updated on things happening in Europe, or Australia.
This has a positive effect on humanity. We become more culturally sensitive and understanding of other people. More than that, we can create deep relationships with people, despite the distance.
Additionally, we have a much easier, much wider access to information now. If there is something we are unsure of, our knee-jerk reaction is to search it online. Unlike before where research is done in a library, today it can be easily Googled through our phones.
The Internet has also been made available to more people. In the past, we needed a computer to use this, but now, there is now mobile Internet on our smartphones.
More than ever, it has grown to be a powerful medium of change in the world. I will not be surprised that in the next few years, more advancements will be introduced.
There is no doubt that the Internet has made a major effect on our lives, how we do things, and how we relate to other people. Its funny to think how a little over half a century ago, the first Internet prototype was not even born, the now it has grown to be the widest network we have ever known.
As we continue to grow with the Internet, one thing we should remember is with this great power and technology come a greater requirement to be responsible. No matter how far the Internet evolves, as users, we should still be in control of it. We should always be in control of the Internet, not the other way around.
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