the Web turns 20, Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Internet….Happy Birthday to you.

The Internet just turned 20 so if it were Japanese you are officially an adult. In America we consider kids adults at the age of 18 (and yet they can’t drink, go figure?!).

20 years ago I was a junior in high school but I didn’t really get into the Internet till around 1996 when I got my first official email account – yahoo. Still today that remains my main account but I have since added another 4 for various purposes.

Today I spent about an hour a day in front of my computer if not more.

The Internet has revolutionized my life just as it has for so many others. It’s my business tool, my entertainment tool, my study tool, and my destination of choice when it comes to shopping.

I sometimes try to remember how we ever got things done before the Internet.

Times have changed and will continue to thanks in no small part to the Web.

As such I thought it be worthwhile to share a story I came across on where-else…The Internet, talking about all that it has brought us over the past 20 years.

Can’t wait to see what’s next.

Adrian Shepherd

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Instant News – Web sites like Google and Bing have made it as easy as a keystroke to find some of the most obscure information. No need to head to the library, pick up an encyclopedia, call friends, or give yourself a massive headache trying to remember small facts you once knew or need to know. Information is one of the greatest gifts the Web has given us.

Wikipedia – Wikipedia isn’t the best source for a research paper, but it’s a one-stop shop for getting a quick rundown on most subjects. Just be careful; anyone can change the site’s information.

Social Networking – Mark Zuckerberg’s baby, Facebook, has revolutionized the way an entire generation communicates. Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, and Foursquare, just to name a few, have given rise to an unlimited source of interaction between people all around the world.

Music Sharing – Spotify is just one of many music-sharing sites that have allowed the world greater access to many different styles of music. Want polka music? Salsa? Rap? It’s only a click away.

Image Sharing – In times of crisis, such as natural disasters, photo sharing becomes a fast, efficient way to get information and images to massive numbers of people. Sharing photos online has also been a way to store and share memories.

Instant Messenging – AIM hit it big a few years ago, and now most social sites have an instant-messaging component, making communication from anywhere in the world easy.

Internet Stars – Tila Tequila is just one of many stars born on the Web. She was discovered on MySpace and became a reality star. Likewise, Justin Bieber was found on YouTube and rose to teen superstardom. The Web has opened the world up to an entirely untapped range of talent.

Online Shopping – Shopping sites like Zappos have made getting clothes, shoes, books, and accessories easier than ever. In the comfort of your own home, the Web presents a larger selection of products than any mall on earth.

Youtube – YouTube videos and great jokes gone viral online have long entertained users of the Internet.

Uniting Under A Common Cause – An Egyptian protester waves his national flag as tens of thousands gather for a demonstration at Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Young Egyptians got fed up with the oppressive regime and united through social media to revolt against their government.

TV Shows Online – Hulu has made missing your favorite show tolerable by streaming them online only days after their original air date. No longer do we have to mourn missing a huge plot point of the best of what TV has to offer.

Streaming Movies – Netflix has made streaming movies and old television shows affordable–even with the recent price hike–giving college students something to do in their dorm rooms besides study.

Smart Phones – New studies say iPhone users would give up shoes and sex for their phones, which are largely so engrossing thanks to the Web.

Online Trading – Finding obscure collectables or selling old things for a profit has never been so easy, thanks to auction sites like eBay.

Online Dating – A large portion of relationships now are fostered through an online connection. Sites like Match.com have complex algorithms designed to find love.

E-Mail – Bye-bye snail mail. Want to send an official notice, party invitation, break-up letter (yes, that does happen) or just a “hello”? No problem, it won’t even take three to five business days.

GPS – Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? It’s pretty easy to find out with the help of GPS systems found on Mapquest or powered through Google Maps.

Devin Brown

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