If you are old enough to remember when the very notion of a laptop computer was a farce involving typing out memos on airplanes, you have no doubt witnessed some changes which have all but blown your mind over the past twenty years or so. Life is all about change, so we all roll with the punches. But it does make you wonder, not only about the computer itself, but about how the Internet has also changed so much over time. If you recall, at one point its entire purpose was strictly for the coordination of the military, in case we had to wage a massive war and make all of our machines work together like the cells in a body. Fortunately no such war has ever happened, so we can be thankful for that. But the legacy of the Internet has been something far greater than even that rather impressive feat. Even the most hard headed skeptic has to admit that the Internet is a powerful force.
Consider the fact that in the beginning, nobody really knew how to use the Internet for much of anything. Granted, people built websites, either in celebration of something or out of a feeling of revulsion for it (or them). But with a very few exceptions, the first few years were definitely a period of drifting about fairly aimlessly for most people online. Could you imagine being online in 1989, when there were less than a thousand websites in the world, and actually going to all of them? Google would have had nothing on you… especially since it had not been started yet.
Of course, in this day and age it is far more easy to imagine that we are all going to stop driving cars around (not terribly likely) before we ever abandon the Internet. As an institution, it rivals the Catholic church as far as how pervasive it is, and it rivals the knife in regard to how functional it is. While the Internet would just barely be old enough to buy alcohol if it were human, it’s definitely come around.