Early Days The World Wide Web The Internet Goes Public The Dawn of Social Media Credits

The internet began as only a way to share files and information between computers. So how did it get to where it is today? You can thank scientist Tim Berners-Lee for that. In 1989, he figured out how to use hypertext (a concept to link from one part of a document to another) to navigate the World Wide Web. This connected similar pages together, and they could be viewed with early internet browsers like Netscape.

This was huge for the internet. Once the net became accessible to the public, companies set up home pages online to advertise and sell their products. People could buy anything right from the comfort of their home computer. It also made information much more available. What was once only intended to send research data between college students could now be used by people anywhere in the world to get answers in seconds.

Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the world wide web.

Of course, there were negatives to the invention as well. Here are some popular benefits and criticisms of the internet at the time:

  • Commercial use
  • The internet allowed many people to work from home
  • It brought people together that wouldn’t otherwise meet
  • Information was more accessible
  • There was a great divide between those who had access to the internet and those who didn’t
  • Internet communication was less personal
  • Hate groups used it to reach more people and spread misinformation
  • In its early days the internet was completely unregulated
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