It's the internet's 25th birthday, so here are 25 things we've loved about the world wide web
The World Wide Web turns 25 this week, so here are the many, many ways it has changed our lives forever.
Way back in 1989 (that's before the 1990s), Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed the idea of the World Wide Web at a physics laboratory in CERN, and the reaction was that it was a little bit vague, but generally a good idea. So he went away and worked on it, then came back with a way for people to share information across the internet using their computers, and more or less changed the way we live today.
Since then, the world wide web has gone through a series of changes, gotten bigger, deeper and faster, and made some pretty significant contributions to our lives. What started as a way for nerds to get together to share information and, inevitably, porn, it has evolved beyond that into something totally different and now the internet is full of...eh...actually forget that.
Anyway, in no particular order here are 25 of our favourite things about the internet from the good old days right up to now.
1) Bebo and MySpace
If you weren't religiously checking your wall for messages on Bebo, then you were rearranging your top 8 friends on MySpace. Being dropped from that top 8 really did hurt man, we'll never forget when you did that to us.
2) Limewire and Napster
We're very, very slowly adding to our music collection (only popular singles), until a terrible virus destroys our computer.
3) Chocolate Rain
Being an internet star is amazing and in no way fleeting. You think the Chocolate Rain guy pays for anything anymore?
4) The dial up noise
This is what the internet sounds like, and we all know that it's a scientific fact.
That's right, things used to have to load. And we don't mean your Netflix movie, we mean plain text pages. We used to have a 28.8 kbps modem, maybe 56 kbps if you were lucky, and it was attached using a standard phone cable. You could go for your dinner and come back and your page might be loaded. Maybe. We got very used to seeing this:
6) Keyboard Cat
There have been many viral cat videos, but this is perhaps the original and best. Even Kevin Spacey loves it.
7) Mick McCarthy GIFs
GIFs in general were a great innovation, but the Mick McCarthy ones have made our lives more complete in one way or another we feel.
8) Learning to delete our browsing history
Something that became pretty vital, as was learned the hard way that one time we forgot to actually do it. Lesson learned.
9) MSN Messenger
Back in the day, the coolest way to keep in touch with your friends was on MSN Messenger. Brb. asl? N00dz?
We wouldn't have made it through anything without this. Think of it as the Homer to our hot dog vendor: Lady, he's putting my kids through college.
11) Online gaming
We're talking about the time before your PlayStation could connect to the internet, back in the day where you'd have a LAN party in an internet cafe playing Counter Strike.
12) Internet cafes
Speaking of internet cafes, they are a thing of the past now (except when you're on holidays in somewhere foreign) but we did notice that we never got a coffee in there. Weird.
13) Conspiracy theories
The internet has given a voice to everyone, including all the folks who are super paranoid about government conspiracies. According to the internet, the moon landing was faked, the earth is hollow and politicians are all a race of super-lizards that come from the moon. Cool.
14) Making up hilarious email addresses
Yes, making a funny email address up is all well and good (like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) but then you have to tell someone to forward you on a mail to that address. "I'll just spell it out for you..."
15) Ordering stuff online
From buying our clothes to ordering pizza and gambling, we can now do everything without leaving the comfort of our couch. It's tripled our unproductivity, which is definitely a real word.
A place where everyone can voice their opinion, you can waste the majority of your day in work, and arguments can break out at a level the like of which we never though possible, in particular about grammar. Pointing out a spelling mistake means you win a debate, of course.
17) Having internet friends
You know that friend of your mate that you met at a party once and now you're friends on Facebook, but you don't know anything about in real life? Well they're walking down the street towards you...avoid.
18) Salad Fingers
It was weird. It was creepy. It was brilliant. Honorable mention to Burnt Face Man. "Not now, Suggestion Boy..."
In case you haven't noticed up to this point, we like memes. They make everything better.
20) Asking permission to use the internet
Not only was the internet charged every time you had to dial up, it was also pretty expensive. Everyone in the house had to get off the phone, you had to make sure they weren't expecting a call, and tell them not to pick up the phone just in case it cut off our connection. We also had to ask permission to use it, and were regularly denied as a result of point number eight.
21) Everything is better on the internet
Things used to be cool, or neat, but those days are in the past. Quit living in the past. Everything is epic, everyone is a legend, and every event that happened is class. #EpicClassLegends
Video, music, live sporting events, our lives are better with streaming. Now if someone can just figure out how to solve buffering, they will surely win a Nobel prize.
Now everyone knows that someone else had the same thought as them about the match, but they were able to type it out faster. Hashtag disappointed.
24) Googling yourself
"Hey, there's a doctor who lives in Arizona with the same name as me. That was interesting for two seconds".
Ah sure we're great, aren't we?