Twenty years ago, I remember using my 14.4 kbit/s dial-up modem in my college apartment to connect to a server and download Mosaic on the first day it became available on January 23rd, 1993. It was the first real web browser (you can read about the history on Wikipedia). I started using the internet several years before that, but at the time, the content was all text based. If you remember how to use Archie and Gopher, then you are truly an internet dinosaur. The ability to see text and graphics together was groundbreaking, and you could sense that something dramatic had taken place. Instead of private access bulletin boards, information was now available to everyone on the web. Fast-forward through the early web years, HTML, AOL, and increasing connection speeds, and we now have something that is far beyond what anybody could have imagined.
Now, most of us use the internet everyday. We have more computing power in our phones than entire supercomputers twenty years ago. We have wireless broadband internet, and the internet has expanded world wide. Where will the next twenty years take us? Can we even begin to imagine what new technologies will look like in twenty years? I admit that I am somewhat of a technophile, but I am constantly amazed at how life has changed. Now we have a wealth of information immediately available, but we also deal with internet addiction problems, and many are addicted to online services, online porn, and even Facebook.
Do you remember the first time you logged in and “browsed” the internet? Think about how your life has changed. Is it for the better?