Do you remember when the Internet first started to become mainstream? It was years ago, before the turn of the century. That sounds so odd to say 'turn of the century' in relation to the year 2000, but we're getting up there folks. It's now 2019, and the world wide web has been around for quite some time. The Internet offers a mammoth of information, but it wasn't always like that.
Back in 1996, I remember being in high school mostly looking at simple web pages and not anything real glamorous. Most information was still published in print, and newspapers weren't feeling the heat just yet. Even encyclopedias were still widely in use. Yet over the years, Wikipedia became the new encyclopedia, online publications took center stage, and of course Google is now able to pretty much answer any question you ask.
I'm a ghostwriter, and I can tell you that my job involves writing content on just about every topic imaginable. I tap into the Internet to get all of my information, as do students these days and anyone looking for answers to questions. No doubt, the Internet is noted for having more information all in one place than a set of encyclopedias could ever dream of having. Wikipedia alone takes care of that.
The fact of the matter is the Internet is like a whole new world. It's not just academic information that is available, but information about cultures, about businesses and about pop culture. Everything you can imagine is represented on the world wide web, and not just once either.
Current events get plastered across hundreds of websites and shared via all the social media platforms. Most everyone has multiple social media accounts. In terms of content, we aren't just sharing text either. We have long been posting actual images and of course videos, too.
Videos and images are representations of what we are experiencing in the real world. In many ways, people spend more times looking at their smartphones than they do paying attention to what is going on in front of their faces. And we used to think the television was bad.
The Internet serves as a record of people's experiences, and you can bet that it holds a wealth of personal information about everyone, too. Think about the sites you see links for that have people's background info and everything else about them. And of course nowadays, everything is saved in the cloud.
Innovation in terms of data storage and online connectivity are always being developed, and what has been described is just where we stand now, some 20 years after the Internet became mainstream. Fast forward another 20 years, and what is the world going to look like?
How are we going to be using the Internet in 2040? You can bet right now that it's going to be much more advanced and different than anything you could dream up right now. That doesn't mean we will all be plugged into flying cars living digitally and not in the real world. No, what I mean is we have no clue where technology is heading next.
I will tell you one thing that I do believe. I believe we are heading towards thin, glass screens that are capable of displaying and projecting information. That's just a hunch. But either way, the information superhighway has really blown everyone away in terms of expectations over the years, and it will continue to do so. It's unreal what we are experiencing right now and how much information is at our fingertips. It's like we've filled a big giant brain with all these things that we always have access to whenever we want.
This article was updated on January 17, 2019