The Internet, As We Know It, Turns 21-Years-Old Today

    August 7, 2012
    Zach Walton
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I think we can all agree that the Internet is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. It could even be considered the most important in some circles. That’s why it’s important that we celebrate its history and look toward whatever the future may hold for us.

The Internet turns 21-years-old today. Our favorite form of communication has just graduated college and is now ready to finally make a name for itself out there. If you know anything about history, you know that the Internet itself is way older than that. Developing the system to allow computers to communicate over great distances has been around since the late 60s. It wasn’t until 1991 though that the Internet started on its path toward mass proliferation and consumption.

The Internet that we all know and love today was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who now works for the Open Data Institute in the UK government. He is considered the father of the Internet and for good reason. He created the first publicly available Web page that detailed what he called the “World Wide Web.” What was originally intended to facilitate communication between researchers turned out to be something much more.

What’s really interesting is how we can look at the development of the Internet like the development of our own culture and civilization. The Internet started out small and then began to grow as Web pages moved out and expanded beyond it early boundaries. Empires like GeoCities, NetScape and those limitless AOL free trial CDs all died and gave birth to the new age of the Internet which includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These services will surely continue to evolve and might even give way to more popular and powerful services in the future.

The Internet, in its relatively short time on this Earth, has already done more to advance the spread of knowledge and spark imagination than any other technology on the planet. The Internet allows us to visit places that we never thought possible in our lifetimes. It allows us to learn from the greatest minds on the planet without having to lift a finger. It even allows us to keep those in power in check through more means than ever before.

It’s exciting to think about what the future holds for the Internet. Unfortunately, that excitement is limited by a lot of fear. The Internet has become a powerful tool that threatens a lot of powerful people who wish to see it regulated or stopped outright. The Internet is something worth protecting. You may have heard the expression, “Only the good die young.” The Internet isn’t just good, it’s our most precious asset. It deserves to live as long as we can allow it.

[h/t: Wired]

  • DJ Fender

    The internet is like that sketchy older brother that likes to steal things and know everyone’s secrets so he can blackmail them with it.

  • http://www.nonlethaldefense.com Jim

    “The Internet that we all know and love today was created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who know works …”

  • http://www.frogdice.com Michael Hartman

    The WWW, not the internet.

    Pet peeve.

    WWW != internet

    Good article though! :)

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Hence why I used the caveat of “As we know it.” Most people are only familiar with the world wide web version of the Internet and that is indeed 21-years-old.

  • http://www.greyolltwit.com/ Grey Olltwit

    Rather ironic that Sir Tim is apparently working for the company that now appears intent on dismantling what he created i.e.
    1. you can link to this but you can’t link to that
    2. you can fill your pages with endless amounts of garbage content as long as we think its original
    3. you can make money from your website as long as we arrange it and get the biggest cut
    4. you’re not allowed to make money by doing your own advertising
    5. you can surf the internet but we must know at all times where you are, how much money you spend, where you spend it, what you like, what you don’t like, what you are shopping for etc., etc.
    6. if you want to know anything, you have to use only us or we’ll throw a hissy fit and not let anyone play at all.