The Internet at 25

Forty-five years ago this July, man first stepped on the Moon.  Just 25 years ago, what we know as the Internet was born.   In some ways, landing on the Moon led to development of the Internet.  But, that’s the story of the technology.  What’s really interesting is how the Internet has affected our society, both in US and around the world, how we conduct business, and most of all, how we all communicate.

Back in February, Pew Research conducted a study of the first 25 years of the Internet and its impact on the US.  At the bottom of this story is the link to the Pew article and the complete study which is a long, but fascinating read.  Here are several findings of the study that we found interesting:

  • The Internet would be the hardest for people to give up of all common technologies that include cellphones, television, and email.  Pew does explain that “Internet” in this context really means the world wide web.
  • Two thirds of the respondents believe that the Internet has strengthened communications between friends and family.
  • And most illuminating is that 90% of respondents believe  the Internet has been good for them individually while 76% of the same group believes that the Internet has been good for society.

For those of us in the business of providing and managing technology, we can’t imagine doing our jobs and delivering the services we do daily without email, messaging, online access to our manufacturers and distributers, or being able to remotely access our clients servers to monitor them for problems and issues, fixing many automatically.  Twenty-five years ago, we spent many hours a day on the phone locating and configuring computers which cost nearly 10 times (including inflation) as much that a far more powerful device costs today.  The growth of the Internet has driven much of that volume growth and price reductions of the devices we provide.

This eNewsletter, our content management system, the email service we use, and even the automatic connection to Facebook and Twitter  entirely relies on various aspects of the Internet.

Today, very few businesses and organizations can even operate without Internet access and there is an entire generation of entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises that are totally reliant on what the Internet provides.   Much of our work today involves clients who see the Internet similarly to the way they see electricity, an expected utility of the 21st century that needs to be nearly 100% reliable.

Here’s the link to the Pew Research Article:

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