Although at this point in our technological existence it’s hard to imagine a world without the internet, it wasn’t invented all that long ago. Despite how pervasive it is in every single thing we do, most people over the age of 25 have a VERY clear memory of what it was like to have only dial up modems that barely allowed you to load a video… and as far as Facebook and YouTube, or mobile internet, forget about it!
Despite how prevalent the internet is today, it is widely disputed who actually invented the internet, so let’s explore a couple of possibilities!
The most common, and perhaps the most entertaining, idea is that Al Gore invented the internet. This common misconception comes from a now infamous interview on CNN in which Al Gore accidentally said…
“During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.”
Now of course, to say Al Gore created the internet is a gross exaggeration, and untrue, but to say that Al Gore was largely involved in legislation that eventually allowed the creation of the internet… is closer to the truth.
As with most technology, the government and the military are usually at the forefront of this race due to the amount of money available for research and the personnel the government has access to. It was the government that created the concept of the World Wide Web in 1940 and eventually developed the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). Along with this network the government also funded research that eventually led to the TCP/IP protocol, which was one of the major pieces that eventually led to the creation of the internet.
While many believe the government is responsible for the internet, there are some that believe a slightly different theory. While government had come up TCP/IP, which many consider to be the backbone of the internet along with the ARPANET, Xerox concurrently came up with a concept that closely resembled the internet, without even knowing what they had on their hands. Xerox used a network of computers to share copiers, and this was, in a rudimentary form, the first internet in existence, although Xerox had no idea.
The real story is that the invention of the internet is a combination of many pieces discovered and researched by many scientists and institutions all around the world. Something as revolutionary as the internet is not built overnight and it took many brains and to put all of the pieces together that gave us the internet.
Since then, technology has evolved at a breakneck pace, giving us WiFi, and cellular technology, and even a number of Mobile Hotspot companies like Skyroam that can give you internet in even the most remote places in the world using 4G networks.
Next time you log on to check if you got more likes on that one post, consider how much work and effort went into creating this World Wide Web and where it will go from here!