The evolution of the internet: getting connected now and then

08 August 2023

For many, the internet is a given. It’s something that we’ve grown up with. But, some of us – not to mention any generations in particular – remember a time when a phone call or a letter was the only way to get in touch with someone. Crazy right?! 

In this blog, we’re reflecting on getting connected, one decade at a time, to see how this web of instant connections evolved and shaped the world we know today. 

The swinging sixties – Internet? What’s that?

The 1960s was a time of groovy music, flower power, and the moon landing. But little did the world know that lurking in the shadows was the humble beginning of the internet. Picture this: tech geniuses sitting around in bell bottoms, sipping on lava lamps, and connecting computers through good ol’ telephone lines. Talk about a slow connection! ARPANET – the grandad of the internet – was born, linking four universities and paving the way for online communication.

Disco fever and the 1970s – Email enters the stage

Welcome to the disco era, where flashy outfits and big hair ruled the dance floor. Meanwhile, the internet was slowly gaining momentum. In the ’70s, an incredible innovation took place – the first-ever email was sent. We can imagine the sender celebrating this achievement with a groovy dance move, typing away on a clunky keyboard. 

Totally radical 1980s – The World Wide Web steps in!

Fast forward to the ’80s – a time of neon colours, walkmans, and leg warmers. This decade was all about big hair, even bigger dreams, and, most importantly, the birth of the World Wide Web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, rocked the world by proposing a system that allowed documents and information to be shared through a network of computers. And thus, the WWW. was born!

The grunge era of the 1990s – Internet for the masses

In the ’90s, flannel shirts and grunge music were all the rage. And amidst this alternative revolution, the internet was making some serious strides. This was the decade when the World Wide Web became accessible to the masses. Online services like AOL and Yahoo! sprouted up, offering web browsing and the chance to create a funky new email address with questionable usernames. 

Enter the new millennium – The age of social media

As we crossed into the 21st century, the internet was no longer just a novelty; it became an integral part of our lives. This decade saw the rise of social media platforms like MySpace and Friendster – places where you could customise your profile with glittery GIFs and express your deepest feelings through cryptic song lyrics. Welcome to the era of internet lingo – BRB, LOL, and ROFL!

The roaring 2010s – Smartphones and memes galore

The decade of the iPhone and the rise of smartphones. Suddenly, the internet was at our fingertips 24/7, and we couldn’t stop scrolling through cat memes and viral videos. We also witnessed the birth of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – social media giants that turned us all into armchair critics and amateur food photographers. And let’s not forget about the endless stream of hilarious internet challenges that went viral faster than you could say “Gangnam Style.”

Here we are in the 2020s – The internet rules

And that brings us to the present, where the internet has become an inseparable part of our daily lives. From streaming our favourite shows to attending virtual meetings, the internet has come a long way. We now live in a world where AI, VR and AR are actual realities, rather than something from science fiction. And who knows where it’s going to go next…

As we look back, it’s clear that the internet has shaped the world in ways we couldn’t have imagined. So, here’s to the future, where the internet will continue to evolve and surprise us in the most unexpected ways. Happy surfing, and may your fibrous connections always be strong and steady – courtesy of BeFibre. 

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