The internet! How many people have access to the internet?
Well, “almost everyone” is not a good enough answer.
Let’s get our facts right!
As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users globally, which translates to 59.5% of the total population. Out of the 4.66 billion, 4.32 billion accessed the internet via their mobile devices.
There are approximately 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide, meaning that over 80 percent of the global population has access to the internet. Amazing right?
Now we have the numbers, but hey, what is the origin of the internet, and who invented it? Read along to get to know this!
What is the Internet?
Before we answer the question, “Who invented the internet,” Let’s first define what the internet is to understand its invention better.
The internet is a global network of computers connecting to provide a variety of information.
This connection of computers happens through wires, cables, and other networking infrastructures.
The origin of the internet dates way back to the Cold War.
A quick reminder of what the Cold War was all about. The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. It began after World War II.
The launch of the Sputnik by the Soviet Union prompted the U.S. Defense Department to come up with ways of disseminating information even after a nuclear attack. It led to the formation of the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).
ARPANET connected to four central computers at The University of Utah, UCSB, UCLA, and Stanford Research Institute. It enabled universities to access files and share information both internally and externally.
The Input of Scientists
Different people have contributed to various fields in the world.
Some of their contributions are still relevant today, while some are not.
For instance, Pythagoras, born in Greece, developed the Pythagoras theorem, a basic mathematical formula to solve mathematical problems. His contribution is still relevant in current mathematical problems.
When it comes to the internet, scientists Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn contributed to the functionality of the internet
They are credited with inventing the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet protocols that set standards for transmitting data between multiple networks. Their invention made the delivery of information consistent and reliable.
Who Were The Lucky Users?
Membership of ARPANET was limited to computer experts like scientists, engineers, librarians, and organizations that had contracts with the Defense Department.
However, it slowly became an essential tool for people worldwide; thus, other networks shared information.
How does it work?
The internet is something we use daily and cannot imagine our lives without it.
It has changed how we communicate, do our jobs, schoolwork assignments, and access and share news. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest inventions of all time!
Have you ever wondered how the internet works? Maybe this question has crossed your mind severally, or perhaps you’ve never actually thought about it.
Okay, folks, here’s an explanation of how everything falls into place.
The internet works by using a packet routing network that follows Internet Protocol (this governs how information is sent from one computer to another) and Transport Control Protocol (Works with Internet Protocol to ensure transfer of data is dependable)
The two work together to ensure that data transmission across the internet is consistent and reliable regardless of the device you are using.
Any form of data transferred over the internet is called a message. However, before these messages are sent, they are broken down into tinier parts known as packets.
Advantages of the Internet
With over 4.6 billion users across the globe, it is evident that the internet plays a critical role in many people’s lives.
There are multiple advantages of the internet. Below are some of them:
Connection! This is one of the most significant advantages of the internet. It connects almost the entire world, if not all of it.
Think of it this way. You’re one social media post, one DM, or one email away from your fiancee in a different continent or your boss who traveled to another city over the weekend.
It has made communication faster, in that you don’t have to wait for days for your favorite cousin to reply to the letter you wrote last week. The reply nowadays is instant.
Work from your Kitchen Counter
Thanks to the internet, employees can comfortably work from home and communicate with their colleagues and employers on the tasks/projects at hand.
You only need a good internet connection and a fast working computer, and you’re good to go!
Organizations that allow their employees to work from home save up on paying rent and other recurrent expenditures they incur when they work from the office.
No one loves those long queues at the bank or the mall. It’s such a waste of time, right?
How about we raise a glass for the internet because you don’t have to leave an urgent meeting to go to the bank, you can do that comfortably via your phone.
Oh! You don’t have a nanny, and you need some groceries from the store; you just buy online and have them delivered to your doorstep. The internet also allows us to compare the prices of different vendors before we decide to purchase.
If this is not amazing, we sure don’t know what it is!
An end to arguments
Imagine you’re having a trivia game night over at your place with your buddies, and there’s one historical question that you all have a different answer to.
The arguments begin because you all think that your answers are correct, and there’s a heated argument about it. One of your friends says,” Why don’t we ask Mr. Google instead of arguing about it?”
So, you agree to get the correct answer, and the argument comes to an end. Of course, that is followed by “I told you so” by those that got the answer right.
Time to Have Some Fun
Over the weekends or during those boring and lazy afternoons, the internet is always there to entertain us.
From movies, music, trivia games, name them all; we can find them on different platforms online.
Disadvantages of the Internet
Let’s not kid each other, nothing or no one is perfect, and the internet is no exception! Take a look at some of its disadvantages:
It’s like a Drug
“Karen, you’re spending too much time on the internet nowadays, you rarely get out of bed before midday. You need to be more productive and not spend too much time on your phone.”
Perhaps you are “Karen.”
Believe it or not, the internet can be addictive, and you can end up spending a lot of precious time just googling random staff or stalking people on their socials.
How about you do something constructive instead, then spare a few minutes to do the opposite? Sounds like a plan, huh?
Are you a victim, or have you ever bullied someone online?
Unfortunately, this happens to both kids and adults, and it can mess up your self-esteem.
Several people have been bullied online for their opinions or how they look. Some have opted to stay offline, while others have the “thick skin” to keep going regardless of what other people say.
Depression and The Need to “Fit-in”
You’ve probably heard this statement severally, “No one posts their failures.”
You’ve come across a post on social media pages of people (they could be your friends) who are often on vacations or dressed in beautiful designer clothes, and they have thousands of likes and comments.
If you cannot afford such a life, you may start to compare your life with others and feel like a failure.
Statistics show that people such instances have led to depression and even resulted to people committing suicide.
There’s a massive amount of information available online.
You can come across pornographic content while you surf that you did not want to view.
This may pose a risk to kids who also have smartphones, laptops, and easy internet access in these modern times.
It’s All Lies
As much as we can get factual information from the internet, not all information should be perceived as the gospel truth, especially on social media sites and blogs.
Have you ever logged in to one of your social media accounts and saw a post saying that a specific person passed away or a celebrity divorced their spouse, only to find out that it was all lies?
Annoying and confusing, right?
It’s always advised to research before posting anything, especially if it involves other people.
Besides its disadvantages, the internet is one of the best inventions ever. It has changed over the years and made our day-to-day life more manageable.