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How Has Internet Usage Evolved Over the Years?


The internet has not been around for that long and all the development has taken place only in the past five decades. Before the internet, social networking was more physical and any remote contact was limited to either phone calls or letters. The good old days when people took the time out to go see each other and spend quality time together.

Early Years

Arpanet was the very first version of the internet and was essentially used for research purposes funded by the American military. Arpanet was designed for the Advanced Research Projects Agency back in 1969. It was a network that connected five sites; UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, BBN Technologies, and the University of Utah. All of these institutes were connected to share ideas in the development of their research efforts. The network grew with time and changed its name but the fundamental nature of the project stayed the same, which was the exchange of information. 

The US Department of Defense came up with an extension to Arpanet called Milnet in 1983, which was later given the name Defense Data Network and eventually Niprnet, for a non-confidential IP router network. Milnet was a part of Arpanet that carried unclassified military communications. Later in the years, Arpanet was labeled the Internet during 1984 and it was linked to a thousand hosts at corporate and university labs.

New Identity

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Ever since the new title, the Internet has grown and spread out across borders at an exponential rate. What used to be a tool for a handful of computer scientists for the purpose of research has now risen to 1.5 billion consumers. However, with the vast acceptance and implementation of this new technology, there has also been an increase in criminal activity such as fraud and identity theft. 

The diversity of activities undertaken over the internet also grew from research to just about anything one might want to do including social networking, financial undertakings, marketing efforts, business undertakings, and much more. The list of things done over the internet has increased in such a drastic way that now everyone can do almost anything online. 

Although, in addition to all of the new things going on online, the interest has not deviated from its original purpose, which was research. In today’s world, all the institutes share their work across international platforms and with hundreds and thousands of readers and researchers. This helps make the research and development process faster and more accurate since there are more minds at work. It helps with the uniformity and implementation of new theories in a global effort toward human advancement.

The Internet Explosion

The real explosion in the usage of the internet happened during and after 1995 when the number of users worldwide increased dramatically to 1-1.5 billion users. With the world population of 6 billion people, everyone agrees that there is still room for growth given there are almost more than 4 billion people around the world without internet access. However, with providers like Spectrum expanding their horizons, there may come a day when every person in the world has access to the internet. I mean could our ancestors have imagined that we would be able to buy Spectrum bundles that include internet, TV, and home phone all in one package and at such affordable prices. I don’t think so!

It is safe to say that the growth of the internet has transformed the global community in such a way that today we do almost everything via the internet. For instance, back in the day when you wanted to order food, you had to go out to your favorite restaurant and order take-out, but today all you have to do is go online and buy whatever your heart desires including food, goods, movie tickets, and almost anything you can think of. 

With the rise of social media, the internet took on a whole new level. It went from a research platform to an online marketplace that was then setting the stage for social networking. With the development of social networks like Orkut, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and instagram analytics the user base increased in a major way. Now people had another reason to use the internet, and that was to interact with their friends and family in virtual space. This also was the inception of online friendships and relationships, and with it, the new challenges of privacy and security.

Information technologies have brought a fundamental change in our society. The global information network, that is the internet, has become a vital infrastructure that has evolved business, education, government, and healthcare. It has affected every aspect of everyone’s life and has made freedom of communication and information possible.

Mobile Internet

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The little gap that was left gapping, in the sense that people only had an option to connect to the World Wide Web through a computer and a device that enabled the connection, was later filled with mobile internet that offered the ability to access the internet through your mobile devices. This new revolution promoted the accessibility to the internet from any place that had a good data reception. 

Starting from its humble beginnings, the internet has come a long way and we have traveled and progressed along with it. Information technology has revolutionized many aspects of human life, especially the way we communicate. It has given us a chance to keep in touch with the people we care about no matter where in the world we are. It has provided us with the ability to look for information and search for knowledge that was not easily accessible before. 


Although the internet has made our life easier, it has also made us more dependent on this technology to the point where some of us cannot even find a specific location without the use of Google Maps. In the end, nothing in the world is perfect, and there are always pros and cons associated with each technology. What matters is the responsible and disciplined implementation and usage of such technologies that make lives easier and better.