The world wide web is celebrating its 30th birthday this month and boy, have we come a long way since those early days.
At age 29, I still vividly remember the first time I encountered the world wide web. I was in the third grade and my teacher at the time threw up The Hamster Dance Song. Yes, that is a link and it does still exist today. Little did I know that at that point, the world wide web had already been around for almost a decade and contained much more than just animated hamsters dancing.
There was also no way of knowing how massive the web would become. This month, it celebrates its 30th birthday. Back then, technology and social media expert Will Francis admitted to BBC that people were really only thinking of books and newspapers. That the web would effectively be a way of digitizing those things and sharing news with the world at the touch of a button.
Fast forward a couple of decades and it has become so much more. It's remarkable how far it has come in such a short space of time. Anyone over the age of about 25 will recognize the sound clip below. You'll likely break out into a cold sweat as soon as you hit play. A time when connecting to the internet was a loud and painful process, and one that you couldn't endure if your mom wanted to use the phone.
To celebrate the web's 30th anniversary, various websites that have been around since almost the very beginning have been sharing what feel like archaic memories at this point. Amazon posted a screenshot of its homepage from all the way back in 1995, unrecognizable from the entity that it has gone on to become. Bill Gates also recalled the launch of Windows 95 which helped Microsoft enter the age of the world wide web.
In the present day, we truly struggle to think of a time when we didn't rely on the internet and the web. Not only do we have it on our computers at home, but we carry it around in our pockets and can use it pretty much whenever we like. No one could have envisioned how integral it would become to our lives, and who knows how much more important it will be another 30 years from now.