It has been 25 years since the Internet made its public debut, opening the doors to dancing baby gifs, private messages, social media, and online news sources, to name a few of the things the Internet has brought to life and made possible.
Although the Internet has ingrained itself into our lives to the point that it has become just as important as the electric or water bills, there was a time when people questioned what the Internet was and if they even wanted to join it.
The first public website was created and shared by CERN, the company best known now for its use and experimentation with the Large Hadron Collider. Although CERN has evolved past the release of the first public website that was let loose on the Internet, they have left the first website up on the Internet, largely unchanged, for everyone to visit.
In 1991, CERN provided the first definition for the Internet. The technical language used left many still wondering what it was and how it could be used to benefit them. That is, if they even had access to the Internet at the time.
“The WorldWideWeb (W3) is a wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.”
Many current websites, such as Metro, celebrated the creation of the first public Internet by sharing images of what it has become best known for, such as dancing babies, gifs, and cat video.
Dancing baby gif for all your needs pic.twitter.com/1SooqYMR2V
— OmankoDragon (@DragonOmanko) July 4, 2016
Still, other sites, such as TechRadar, chose to focus on Berners-Lee’s dream of the World Wide Web. The dream began in 1989, and became a reality in 1991 on August 6, when CERN’s first public website went live on the Internet.
Although the first website was not a flashy page with midi music and whimsical gifs, it provided information in a simplistic format that was easy to navigate, setting the stage for the future Internet. CERN’s website didn’t focus on anything other than what the world wide web, or W3 as it was known, was. It provided details regarding what could be accessed with the Internet, what products were needed, technical details, history, and how to get the code to create web pages.
Stumbled upon this passage in a guinness world records book last night. Happy birthday Internet! pic.twitter.com/ictrMEUTvH
— Shawn Whiting (@shawncwhiting) August 6, 2016
The Internet has come a long way since the days that dial up ruled the world, forcing families to choose between using the telephone or visiting AOL chat rooms. The Internet has become an essential part of life, from television to school books, essential work functions and vacation planning, the Internet is here to stay.
Happy Birthday WWW!
25 years ago today the World Wide Web debuted as a publicly accessible service of the internet pic.twitter.com/0TDStvmkiX
— Alex Jay (@AlexJayZA) August 6, 2016
Many can still imagine what life was like before the Internet. Before the creation of smart phones, laptops, or the Internet of things. Times when one left work and spent time with the family, rather than responding to emails. Times when one could sit outside and enjoy the evening without browsing social media and responding to Internet trolls. Some wonder if we are better off now with the world at our fingertips than we were when the evening news and newspapers were the source of worldwide happenings.
What are your thoughts? Has the Internet made our lives easier and kept us more informed? Has it taken control of our lives and changed us for the worse?
Despite our views, the Internet is not going anywhere anytime soon as it continues its evolution and becomes bigger and better.
Happy 25th birthday Internet!
[Image via Zurijeta/Shutterstock]