I’m of the generation that was born before the internet became readily available in nearly every home, and it’s been amazing to watch the way that the World Wide Web has evolved.
When the internet first hit the consumer market, it was only my wealthier childhood friends who had access to it. As with all products, of course, it would later become accessible to just about everyone.
A military project
Long before I was born, the United States military was working on a project that would later come to be known as the internet. Considering how primitive the early Arpanet project was, it’s simply amazing to see how far it’s come.
The first home internet service that I can remember
I believe it was the early 1990s when America Online started flooding magazines and mailboxes with discs that would give people free trials. Back then, of course, you would only get free access for a certain amount of hours. Because this was dial-up internet service (which is something that most people the generation after mine know nothing about), those hours would get depleted extremely quickly. Once the hours were up, your credit card or bank account would start getting charged.
I can still remember the dialing and digital screeching noises coming from home computers, and I’m very glad that those times are long behind us.
The internet as a primary form of entertainment
I grew up in the era of AOL and the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. Back in those days, being able to play video games over the internet would have just been a fantasy (although Sega did have a service that allowed you to download games over a phone line for a short period).
Today, not only is online gaming huge, but many people have actually cut the cable cord and decided to use the internet for all of their video entertainment.
Personally, I never watch television anymore, as all of my favorite shows and sports events are available to me over the internet.
It’s amazing how far the internet has come in my own lifetime.
All of human knowledge in your pocket
As high-speed internet began to become a regular household service, technology was also advancing to the point where people could gain access to the internet through their phones.
The smartphone is an amazing device which most of us now take for granted. Even fifteen years ago I never would have imagined that I would be able to do all of the things on my phone that I can today.
What does the future hold?
It’s difficult to imagine what will come in the future of the internet. How could we possibly get more advanced in the technology that we already have?
Well, considering that all of this has come about in such a short period of time, it’s difficult to underestimate the growth of technology.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the future of information tech has in store.