The Internet started out as a DARPA sponsored experimental project to develop a fault-tolerant computer network. ARPANET was launched in 1969, and by the mid-1980s, it had evolved into NSFNET, a network widely used in the academic and research communities. Then, with the advent of the World Wide Web, the Internet began its transformation from a network used primarily by research communities to the commercial platform it has become, now being used by billions around the world.
The Web and the Internet have become so intertwined that most people use the terms interchangeably, even though the Web, like e-mail and other applications, is one of the major layers of the Internet. The original concepts that led to the Web where first proposed in a 1989 paper by Tim Berners-Lee. The Pew Research Center is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Web with a number of reports on the current state and potential future of the Internet and digital life.
The Web at 25 in the US looks back at the growth of the Internet over the past 25 years and presents the findings of a national survey on how Americans feel about the Internet’s impact on their lives. The survey asked questions in four main categories: adoption, impact on everyday life, impact on social relationships, and overall verdict. Let me briefly discuss the key findings in each category.