What do I find most interesting or surprising about the history of the internet? The speed of its development. From Arpanet in 1969 to emails in 1971, to the start of live chatting in 1988, to webcam development in 1991, how far it has come in less than 50 years is absolutely astonishing. After reading about its short history, I have come to understand why we as consumers have expectations which are so high and only getting higher.
Up to the early 21st century, nearly every aspect of the internet that came to be was a necessary creation, to ease methods of communication and ways of accessing information. But since the early years of the new millennium, much of what has become part of the internet is actually not essential to our lives, if we put our minds to it. Of course, for those who were born when social media was first developed, or those born today and in the years to come, they will hardly be able to imagine a world without the World Wide Web. It has unfortunately become a basic need of individuals if they are to live through each day suffocating or dissolving into a puddle of tears.
Such inventions as Snapchat, YouTube and therefore Red Tube, are they entirely fundamental to our everyday lives? Although YouTube does contribute to education and learning of society, it has stimulated a ridiculous amount of inappropriate content and furthermore impure behaviour of children and adults alike. When Snapchat was first invented, the basic idea was to allow individuals to send self-destructing, sexual photos to each other. The use of this app then became more general, promoting simply the idea of fun and creativity with various filters, texts and sound effects. However, websites such as Snapchat Leaked then emerged, containing sexual photos submitted anonymously, and aimed at an 18+ audience to view simply for laughter and pleasure. This I find shocking, and ultimately quite disturbing.
The history of the internet and the speed of its evolution is no doubt impressive, but we need to address its many implications if we do not want it to destroy rather than benefit society. I think the internet definitely plays a part in the decline of face to face interaction, the rise of sexual molestation and of course the increase in cyber-crime. Surely the founders of Arpanet did not have this in mind as a primary purpose. We therefore need to reflect on what the actual function of the internet is.
Finally, it is because we live in the Western World that we take the internet for grated. How many of us can truthfully say that they will happily give up their unlimited access for the rest of their lives? Ninety percent of the world’s poorest countries live offline, and so if they are able to, then I hope you will agree that we need to rethink our society’s approach to the internet.
The History of the Internet in a Nutshell http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/
How much of the world has regular internet access? http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/09/united-nations-internet-access/406552/