The Amazing Growth of Internet 

It is very difficult to conceive of our fast-paced post-modern world without the power of the Internet. One can say that the Internet is the edifice of our ongoing digital revolution. As per Britannica, the internet represents a system architecture that has transformed mass communication, mass media, and commerce by enabling the interconnection of diverse computer networks worldwide. It is also sometimes described as a network of networks. Internet was introduced in the United States in the 1970s but did not attract much general public usage until the 1990s.

On March 16, 1990, the Internet was extended to Europe from the US. That was one of the significant steps in the massive development of the Internet during the last 40 years, which has brought about unimaginable changes in our lives and work. Today, Statista reveals that according to the latest estimates, roughly 90 percent of European households have Internet access. Over 50 percent of the world’s population will have Internet access by 2020.

Regarding practical usage of the Internet, the role of a computer scientist in Europe and Geneva-based European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) cannot be discounted. In 1989, while employed at CERN, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee pioneered the creation of the World Wide Web (WWW).. The web immensely facilitated public use of the Internet, paving the way for websites for everyday usage.

The World Wide Web, or simply the web, is one of the most essential services offered through the Internet. The World Wide Web is a collection of web pages that one can explore on a computer or other devices (such as a smartphone) through the use of the Internet. The Internet is the networking infrastructure that connects computers or other devices online, while the World Wide Web is a means of getting information, knowledge, entertainment, and many other objectives through the Internet.

From CERN’s website, we can see that the web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. The fundamental concept behind the World Wide Web (WWW) was to integrate personal computer technologies, computer networking, and hypertext into a robust and user-friendly global information system. However, three decades later, it now seems a modest aim for the World Wide Web considering the Internet’s almost unbelievable potential, which was soon to be unraveled through the subsequent decades.

From the CERN’s website, we can glean that by the end of 1990, Tim Berners-Lee had the first web server and browser up and running at CERN, demonstrating his ideas. He developed the code for his web server on a NeXT computer. 

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and formulated the Universal Resource Identifier (URI) system. “HTTP is the language computers use to communicate HTML documents over the Internet, and the URI, also known as a URL, provides a unique address where the pages can be easily found,” informs The National Science and Media Museum. 

These path-breaking inventions helped to make the Internet much more user-friendly and gave momentum to the information age. 

In 1990 only, the world’s first search engine, Archie, was created by Alan Emtage, a McGill University student in Montreal. However, when Google was founded by computer scientists from the US, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin , in 4th September 1998, the information age took a huge digital leap. Through Google’s search engine, a plethora of information on almost every imaginable subject is now much more easily accessible than before.  

Soon after, Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook in 2004 along with his roommates Eduardo SaverinAndrew McCollumDustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, while he was studying at Harvard. Initially launched exclusively within a few college campuses, the platform rapidly expanded and achieved a milestone of reaching one billion users by 2012.

Zuckerberg’s potent vision led to the merging of new-age IT with seminal human connectivity to develop the most popular social network site in the world, thereby giving the social media revolution huge momentum. 

As a result of the explosion in social media, the Internet began to be used not only as a medium for disseminating useful information and enriched knowledge but also as a conduit for professional and personal networking and building and maintaining relationships. 

Today’s Internet networks help provide us with crucial information, facilitate the dissemination of enriched education, and enhance and broaden our networking, employment, and entertainment options. In fact, they govern several aspects of our postmodern life. It sounds amazing how much we have traveled through the Internet during the short span of three decades.

Now, artificial intelligence is poised to significantly impact the future of the Internet through more personalized content, smarter search engines, and improved online security.

Leave a Reply