It feels like it has been with us forever, our constant companion, but the internet has only been with us for 25 years. On the 6th of August, 1991, the very first public web page came into existence. 17 days later, the rest of the internet-ready world (so probably like a dozen people) got access to that page, and Internaut Day was born.
A mangling of the words “internet” and “astronaut”, internet day celebrates the very first voyagers of the public internet, who ventured into brave new cyber worlds and no doubt immediately got to arguing about whether Original Series or Next Generation was the best one.
It’s well-known(ish) that the internet actually dates back to the 1960’s, when it was used for military purposes. It wasn’t until 1989 that a CERN employee called Tim Berners-Lee got the idea for an internet accessible by anyone and everyone. Now, approximately 3.17 billion people – 40% of the world’s population – have internet access. And that number is growing every year.
Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that the internet has had a massive effect on our lives, both personally and on a grand, societal scale. It is a tool of communication, a tool of learning, a tool of activism and yes, a way to distribute cat videos on a scale never before dreamed of.
It has changed our zeitgeist so much in just 25 short years. I look forward to seeing where it takes us during the next 25 years to come.