Well I was reading a dictionary earlier today and… oh wait, that sounds rather geeky.. allow me to rephrase. I was reading aSociology Dictionary this morning to help me out with some key terms and, while flicking through, I came across the word “internet.” Curious as to what the internet has to do with Sociology, I decided to read the entry; and I’m rather glad I did!
It seemed to be outlining the history of the internet which I must admit was strangelyinteresting. The internet first started out in the 1970’s when the USA was involved in the Cold War. The US Government created the internet in order to, not only share information quickly with other people, but to protect communications in general in the event of a nuclear attack on the country. We can all complain about wars and violence, but just imagine if the Cold War never happened – you might not be reading this article now!
By the 1980’s, the internet had been developed as such so that it became ratheracademic. By making it academic, this meant that everyone could have access to a personal computer through the telephone line. It was beginning to have a purpose in wider society in terms of education and sharing skills with each other. But still, computers were very large pieces of equipment and they cost a fortune to produce. ICT lessons were unheard of and absolutely nobody could have imagined the scale of which they have eventually been produced at.
Apparently the Chairman of IBM said the following statement in 1943:
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,”
Amazed? Me too. Just imagine a world without computers and the internet.
Moving on, by 1995 there were only around 1 million users on the internet. I do find this slightly flabbergasting considering this is only around the time I was born! People however saw the incentive: and saw what the internet offered, and by 1997 (in just two years time!), the amount of people using the internet had increased to 40 million. What a leap. I admit it, a giant leap for mankind indeed.
In terms of the amount of web pages; the year 1993 saw 130,000 yet by 1997 there were a whopping 30 million web pages on the internet. It really is truly staggering the amount of progress which can happen in a matter of two years.
It really does seem strange that 40 years ago, the internet had never even been invented.
We wouldn’t be surfing websites, playing online games, doing online shopping and to me – the internet really is the product of the 20th Century. Absolutely brilliant. Now, what will the 21st Century bring? Well that’s up to our generation and our children to figure out.
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