The World Wide Web was created 25 years ago on March 12, 1989 by Sir Tim-Berners Lee at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. This was a truly revolutionary moment for the internet, which had no images, web pages or hyperlinks at that time. Information on the internet could only be accessed by directly logging into a server. At that time, the potential of the power of the internet was completely underrated as the web was just starting to grow and most of the computers at that time had extremely low modem speeds.
Fast forward 25 years later and everything has changed. Now a quarter of the world’s population is accessing the internet through mobile devices. Rapid adoption of 3G and 4G networks has pushed global internet usage to an all time high, with at least 3 billion internet users expected by the year 2015. The overall perception of the internet, at least in the U.S., is that it remains a force for good and would be impossible to live without.
The Pew Research Centre has studied internet usage in-depth, before and after the creation of the World Wide Web. A majority of adults in the U.S. were surveyed during different periods over the past 30 years. The results have been compiled and presented by CWCS Web hosting in this infographic.
- 30 years ago, 10% of U.S. adults had a home computer and 14% had said that they used a modem for sending and receiving information.
- The simple act of transferring messages through computers was seen as not useful. At that time, only 23% of computer owners in the U.S. said it would be very useful, while 45% said it was not useful.
- In 1990, the number of U.S. adults using a personal computer was just 42%.
- In 1983, 1.4% of U.S. adults had internet access, which rose to 14% by 1995. In 2014, 87% of U.S. adults had internet access.
- The fastest modem at that time was a 28.8 k modem, and it was available to just 2% of internet users.
- In 2014, 81% of U.S. adults said they had used desktop and laptop computers somewhere in their lives.
- At least 90% of internet users go online from their home, an increase from 76% in 2000.
- The majority of those surveyed were happy with the effects of the internet. 70% of users said they had been treated kindly or generously by others online.