On March 12, the Internet turned 25. If you’re calculating, that means it first came about in 1989.
Do you remember how you used the Internet back then? No one does because very few did. Here’s a picture, courtesy of Dr. Mark Humphrys School of Computing:
Amazing, right? Well, it was back then. The program this individual used, pictured above, allowed people to chat. At the time, the structure was called “BITNET.” It didn’t use the IP protocol our internet uses today, but it performed the same functions: e-mail, chat, one-on-one chat, and file archives. You could use all of these from different areas across the globe.
Since Then, Things Have Changed a Little…
So what’s happened? The Internet’s evolved from something a few hardcore geeks use to a tool now used by more than 87% of American adults (according to Pew Research). Now that you think about it, doesn’t that number seem a little low? Pew also notes 97% of those 18-29 use the Internet, while 68% of adults connect to the Internet with smartphones or tablet PCs.
Pew’s Research has also found that despite its quirks, most adults view the Internet as overall a good thing:
- 90% say it has been good for them personally, compared to just 6% who say it’s bad
- 76% believe the Internet has been good for society as a whole, while 15% think it’s been bad
…And We’ve Still Got a Long Way to Go!
Facebook, Twitter, Bitcoin (the new digital currency), electronic payments, mobile phone payments, and e-commerce are some of the most-used innovations the Internet has offered.
But, when you take a look at the large scale, we haven’t even experienced the tip of the iceberg yet.
Take a look at what we mean. If you visit http://www.internetworldstats.com, you can see that about 2.4 billion people of the world’s 7.0 billion total population have internet access.
Can you believe that? That means just 34.3% of the world’s population can get on the internet.
So think about the 4.6 billion people in the world NOT on the internet. This means there’s a ton of consumers and future Mark Zuckerbergs out there completely unable to take advantage of the Internet.
With that in mind, where do you think the Internet will go in the future? Feel free to let us know in the comments below: