I remember the first time I used it, in 1993.
We huddled around a monochrome computer (1-color monitor, it was yellow) and my science teacher pulled a piece of paper from her fanny pack that had instructions for us to dial into a computer the next town over.
Once connected, that computer dialed into another computer that connected us to NASA so we could read public information about space shuttle flights. It was amazing to see all that information slowly scroll by as lines of text on the screen.
It looked like this:
Then, came the web, and the first web page:
And the first web browsers:
Then the world wide web became a part of our life.
We dialed in in the late 90's by way of Prodigy, CompuServe and AOL. But those services were less about the web and more about the service they provided: early email, chat and instant message.
In the years to follow, AOL flooded our physical mail boxes with those floppy discs and CD's offering a free month of service for their dial up connection. Our modems slowly got faster until they reached a peak speed of 56Kbps.
Craigslist pulled the rug out from under the local paper's classified section with a simple site (that hasn't changed since it rolled out) where you could find love, leftover furniture or lists of available jobs in your area.
Amazon also changed the world, pulling the rug out from under bookstores. Remember Barnes and Noble? Borders? With books shipped right to your door for less why bother going to the book store? Or the music store? Or the drug store– since Amazon now ships anything and everything all over the country in 2 days or less.
Speaking of Music Stores, the iTunes Music Store unseated the power that the record store and the recording industry had over our music. With songs selling for just 99¢... why drive to the store for CD's?
YouTube also changed how we watched and shared video bring everything from cats stuck in ceiling fans to the Battle at Kruger, viewed more than 70-million times.:
Netflix, Hulu, VUDU, Amazon Prime also changed how we're enjoying prime time: on our time. Now we can download full length HD shows to our TV's, Tablets and Smartphones.
Of course, we can't forget Facebook and Twitter and how they've changed how we communicate again.
With Smartphones and Tablets also accessing the web, now it's in our pocket and changing the world again. Our geo-aware cell phones combined with the Internet mean we're more in touch, trackable and reachable than ever before.
Where will the Internet take us in the next 25 years?
Think higher-speed data, streaming 4K video and an Internet that is everywhere we go from our phones, to our televisions to our appliances to even our clothing. With all that connectivity, our refrigerators can tell us when we run out of milk by alerting our phones and our clothes can keep tabs on our vital signs and even our location.
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