Since its inception back in 1962 as a humble data sharing network, the internet has flourished into this all-encompassing thing that spans all sorts of fields and genres. It's perhaps the single greatest invention since our caveman ancestors chiseled a large stone into a circle and stuck it to a wagon.
To commemorate how far the digital age has come here's a brief bit of history of the internet:
The Origin of the Internet
As mentioned above, the internet was initially established in America back in the '60s as a form of sharing information through data packets across a secure network. It was initially used by university professors to stay in contact with one another or share information.
From there it moved to big businesses that also used it for sharing information before it was adopted by the Department of Defense and then distributed to the national public. It was given to the public in 1983 through a system that created a new communications protocol called Transfer Control Protocol or Internetwork Protocol, TCP and IP for those who might be a bit lost.
Example – http://www.nethistory.info/History%20of%20the%20Internet/origins.html
The Creation of Search Engines
Although it initially appeared in the 60's the first search engine didn't appear until 1993, a full 30 years after the conception of a sharing network. The first search engine was MOSAIC, which later became Netscape and this was incredibly popular with early users of the internet.
Unfortunately it's not around anymore as the search engine market has been dominated by the likes of Mozilla and Google over the last couple of years as the commercialization of the internet really took off.
Example – http://www.searchenginehistory.com/
The Appearance of Custom Sites
The 90's was where the internet really took off, moving into a digital age we saw the creation of custom websites from 1995 onwards that provided users with all sorts of things. These new sites like AuctionWeb (later rebranded into eBay) allowed us to order items online or even game on gambling or other flash based sites.
In 1996 Hotmail appeared and provided this new generation of users with personalized email accounts they could access anywhere and anytime they liked. It was a development that reportedly landed Microsoft $400 million.
Example - pgbingo.com/new-bingo-sites-2015
The Move into Social Media
Moving into the early 2000s the internet began to expand into social media and how we interacted with one another. No longer did we have to phone or email our friends, we could instant message them or show them our holiday photos all online on specialized sites like Facebook and Myspace.
Example – http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/the-history-of-social-networking/
The Current Internet
Fast forward to present day and you can see how far the internet has come in such a short space of time. What was once a system that was purely used for sharing data on a network has grown to encompass almost every facet of our life.
Thanks to improvements in the technology we can enjoy faster connections to download and upload large amounts of data. We can even connect to the internet without having to be directly plugged into a phone line or router since it's all wireless now.
There's also a whole new platform to browse the internet with since mobile and tablet technology has come along in leaps and bounds.
The internet has single-handedly improved our lives for the better as it's lead to the creation of better technology, a wider platform to communicate with each other on and a general improvement to our day to day lives.
With new technology constantly improving the way we surf this digital sea it's certainly going to be very exciting to see what the future holds for the internet and how we will interact with it.