We hardly notice it now, but I believe we’re living through one of the most important times in human history, due to the invention and spread of the internet. Even if you are five years old (and reading this article? Good job, dude) you’ve seen massive changes in the technology available during your lifetime. The internet is both the best and worst invention of all time and it’s changing everything.
WHY IT'S THE BEST: Information is everywhere
We really do have the potential to learn about everything. Information is at our fingertips that used to be available only to the hardiest of researchers. We can’t forget how incredible it is that in one moment you can look up the name of the guest star on today’s episode of Modern Family, the square root of anything, a YouTube video explaining relativity, and disgusting photos of every disease you think you might have on WebMD. I’m traveling through Europe and the Middle East right now and I can buy my plane tickets online, find a place to stay, and use Google maps to find my way around, all before I ever show up. It’s freaking amazing.
It’s easy to find weirdos who like the same stuff as you
If you lived in a small town and loved ghost hunting or World War I or underwater embroidery, it used to be that you would have to indulge your passion alone, in secret, in your basement. The internet has made it so that nobody needs to feel alone, because no matter what your weird passion is, somebody else out there likes it too. There are too many human beings in the world not to find someone as strange as you are.
YouTube is full of videos of animals being friends with each other
Without the internet, I would probably go my entire life without seeing proof that sometimes turtles and dogs are friends. Cross-species animal friendship is the best thing that’s ever happened to our planet, and without the internet, we’d be at an almost complete loss to see it with our own eyes.
Social media is revolutionizing how we connect
I’ve moved and traveled a ton in my life, and because of social media, I’m able to keep in touch with my friends in Germany, Indiana, LA, Egypt, and Thailand. It doesn’t matter where we are or how long it’s been, there’s no reason to lose touch anymore. Social media is so convenient that you don’t need anyone’s phone number, you just need to know their name and you can look them up on Facebook. Also Twitter exists and it’s hilarious.
WHY IT'S THE WORST: It brings out the worst in people
I want to believe that people are basically good, but too much time looking at internet comments will extinguish that hope forever. Anonymity brings out our worst selves, and people will write things on the internet they’d never say in real life. I remember several years ago reading an interview with a famous actress who said she had to stop reading about herself online because the comments were so mean, and I’d honestly never realized that celebrities read what people say about them or that it might hurt their feelings.
Sometimes the comments people leave on my articles hurt my feelings, especially if the commenter says they wish I would die. Nobody should ever wish death upon someone just because they don’t like an article they wrote. That is f*cked up, internet. Or any time a woman writes something about feminism online, they will get tons of the harshest vitriol lobbed at them on the internet, and it sometimes makes me feel like all the good stuff about the internet isn’t worth it. If anyone has hope that the cesspool that is an internet comment section will stop being so sh*tty someday, please leave a comment below. And if you have something sh*tty to say, maybe try locking yourself in a room and not coming out until you’re a decent human being. The world honestly does not have to be that mean.
Everything we used to do has been replaced by the internet
Reading books? Hah. No. Instead, we read the internet. Talking to people? Nah, we’ll just Facebook and Whatsapp. Going outside? No way, we’ll look at cool nature pics online. How many times have you seen a sunrise in person versus seeing a picture of a sunrise online? That’s right, you should feel bad. I do! The internet is bringing an end to many of the activities that have sustained humans throughout our history, and has weakened our ability and desire to connect with each other in person. We’re also losing all types of interesting stores to the behemoth that is Amazon and other online shopping. Soon, all we will have is the internet. We are all King Midas, and everything we touch turns to internet.
Social media wastes your time
I love Facebook but holy lord can you waste your time there reading crap that nobody needs to know and looking at videos you’ll forget in an hour. It’s so easy to have a lot to do (and limited time, honestly — we are definitely all gonna die and don’t you forget it) and then before you know it, you’ve wasted hours on the internet and have nothing to show for it.
Robots will eventually kill us all
The internet is just the beginning of the end, as robots will inevitably take over and enslave us until they have eradicated our species from the earth. Bummer.
So, what do you think? Is the internet the best thing ever, the impending end of days, or both? Let me know your thoughts @erikaheidewald or leave a comment!
The Internet is a vast network of computers and other mini-networks all linked together so that everyone can find information, purchase products, or meet new people. It is easily assessable from home for anyone that has a computer and a modem or at a local library. It has made a huge impact since its introduction to the public and now some people cannot see life without it. It is also relatively new considering it was just about 10 years ago that it was made public and easily accessible to everyone thorough online services. This paper will describe the history of the Internet.
The Internet is first conceived in the early ’60s. Under the leadership of the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency, it grows from a paper architecture into a small network (ARPANET) intended to promote the sharing of super-computers amongst researchers in the United States. Through the next couple years there were talks of about how this network could come into the cooperate world and in 1969 researchers at four US campuses create the first hosts of the ARPANET, connecting Stanford Research Institute, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. The ARPANET is a success from the very beginning. Although originally designed to allow scientists to share data and access remote computers, email quickly becomes the most popular application. The ARPANET becomes a high-speed digital post office as people use it to collaborate on research projects and discuss topics of various interests. In 1971 the ARPANET grows to 23 hosts connecting universities and government research centers around the country. In 1972 the InterNetworking Working Group becomes the first of several standards which set entities to govern the growing network. Vinton Cerf is elected the first chairman of the INWG, and later becomes known as a “Father of the Internet.” The ARPANET goes international in 1973 with connections to University College in London, England and the Royal Radar Establishment in Norway.
From 1974 to 1981 the general public starts to get its first vague hint of how networked computers can be used in daily life as the commercial version of the ARPANET goes online. The ARPANET starts to move away from its military and research roots and in 1974 Bolt, Beranek & Newman opens Telnet, the first commercial version of the ARPANET. In 1981 ARPANET has 213 hosts and a new host was being added approximately once every 20 days.
From 1982 to 1987 Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf are key members of a team which creates TCP/IP, the common language of all Internet computers. For the first time the it seemed as though the loose collection of networks which made up the ARPANET is seen as an “internet”, and the Internet as we know it today is born. The mid-80s marks a boom in the personal computer and super-minicomputer industries. The combination of inexpensive desktop machines and powerful, network-ready servers allows many companies to join the Internet for the first time. Corporations begin to use the Internet to communicate with each other and with their customers. In 1982 the term “Internet” is used for the first time. By 1984 the number of Internet hosts exceeds 1,000, by 1987 the number exceeded 10,000, and by 1990 the number exceeded 300,000.
By 1988 the Internet is an essential tool for communications, however it also begins to create concerns about privacy and security in the digital world. New words, such as “hacker,” “cracker” and” electronic break-in”, are created. These new worries are dramatically demonstrated on Nov. 1, 1988 when a malicious program called the “Internet Worm” temporarily disables approximately 6,000 of the 60,000 Internet hosts. The Computer Emergency Response Team was formed in 1988 and it was their job to address security concerns raised by the Worm.
In 1993 corporations wishing to use the Internet face a serious problem which was commercial network traffic was banned from the National Science Foundation’s NSFNET, the backbone of the Internet, but in 1991 the NSF lifts the restriction on commercial use, clearing the way for the age of electronic commerce.
Also in 1991 at the University of Minnesota, a team led by computer programmer Mark MaCahill releases “gopher,” the first point-and-click way of navigating the files of the Internet. Originally designed to ease campus communications, gopher is freely distributed on the Internet. 1991 is also the year in which Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN in Switzerland, posts the first computer code of the World Wide
Web in a relatively innocuous newsgroup, “alt.hypertext.” The ability to combine words, pictures, and sounds on Web pages excites many computer programmers who see the potential for publishing information on the Internet in a way that can be as easy as using a word processor.
Marc Andreesen and a group of student programmers at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications located on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) will eventually develop a graphical browser for the World Wide Web called Mosaic and by 1993 Mosaic becomes the first graphics-based Web browser.
By 1993 traffic on the NSF backbone network exceeds 1 trillion bytes per month, and the first audio and video broadcasts take place over a portion of the Internet known as the “MBONE.” More than 1,000,000 hosts are now part of the Internet and it expands at a 341,634% annual growth rate.
In 1995 NSFNET reverts back to a research project, leaving the Internet in commercial hands. The Web now comprises the bulk of Internet traffic. James Gosling and a team of programmers at Sun Microsystems release an Internet programming language called Java, which radically alters the way applications and information can be retrieved, displayed, and used over the Internet.
As the Internet celebrates its 25th anniversary in 1996, the military strategies that influenced its birth become historical footnotes. Approximately 40 million people are connected to the Internet. More than $1 billion per year changes hands at Internet shopping malls, and Internet related companies like Netscape are the darlings of high-tech investors. Users in almost 150 countries around the world are now connected to the Internet. The number of computer hosts approaches 10 million. Within 30 years, the Internet has grown from a Cold War concept for controlling the tattered remains of a post-nuclear society to the Information Superhighway. Just as the railroads of the 19th century enabled the Machine Age, and revolutionized the society of the time, the Internet takes us into the Information Age, and profoundly affects the world in which we live.
In present day people are telecommuting over the Internet, allowing them to choose where to live based on quality of life, not proximity to work. Many cities view the Internet as a solution to their clogged highways and fouled air. Schools use the Internet as a vast electronic library, with untold possibilities. Doctors use the Internet to consult with colleagues half a world away. The Internet even offers a single Global Village; it threatens to create a 2nd class citizenship among those without access. As a new generation grows up as accustomed to communicating through a keyboard as in person, life on the Internet will become an increasingly important part of life on Earth. The Age of the Internet has arrived.
How It Works In Present Day
The Internet works by a number of connections one leading to a bigger one and then somehow finding where it wants to be. So how does it do this? First it begins at the users PC where that is equipped to send and receive all variety of audio and video. From there is the data goes out through the PC’s communication to connect the User’s to the “Local Loop” which is the Internet service provider such as AOL or some other online provider. In there the system decipher what kind of data is being sent and at this location it tells the data what type of data it is and where to go. Examples of the different kinds of data are examples of this are Domain Name Server, E-mail, and newsgroups. From there it is sent to the ISP backbone which interconnects the ISP’s, POPs, AND interconnects the ISP to other ISP’s and online content. At this location the data is routed to the desired location and the online content they user was looking for is found. The data is then sent back through the system to the original user. The information that is on the data coming back could have came from a wide array of sources such as books, finical markets, embedded chips or even made up by someone trying to fool the user.
Filed Under: Literature Summaries