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USING THE WORLD WIDE WEB
The internet has pervaded every aspect of life, and nowadays it is hard to picture our society without it. The technological advancements that have been made since the invention of the World Wide Web have surpassed the progress made in the last two centuries. Today, the web has come to serve countless purposes. There are so many things that revolve around the internet, like staying in touch with friends, entertaining, and doing research. The World Wide Web has revolutionized how we live and will continue to dominate our lives in the future.
History of the World Wide Web
Birth of the Internet. In 1989, the World Wide Web started as a project of the CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The project was entitled “Enquire.” The project was intended to address the needs of universities and other institutions in the sharing of information. The first website developed by CERN described how to access other individuals’ documents and how to create a server. Because CERN is a physics-based organization, this application was first utilized by the physics community.
Tim Berners-Lee. Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist at CERN, proposed the Enquire program that eventually developed into the World Wide Web. He came from a family of scientists with a great knowledge about computers and grew up fascinated by technology. Berners-Lee’s goal for this project was to create a network that could be accessed worldwide. He once said"All the bits of information in every computer at CERN, and on the planet, would be available to me and to anyone else. There would be a single, global information space.” By late 1990, Berners-Lee had created a draft of the first web page.
AOL Instant Messaging. Also in 1989, in the United States, AOL, or America Online, developed the first instant messaging system. The United States was using Berners-Lee’s technology to facilitate this project. This sparked the use of the World Wide Web in offices and homes around the country. It became increasingly more accessible to the world through these applications.
Uses of the World Wide Web
Telemedicine. In recent years, the Web has begun to serve a purpose in healthcare, both domestically and globally. The American Telemedicine Association describes telemedicine as “the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status.” It makes healthcare more easily accessible to patients even in remote areas in our own country and throughout the world by providing medical advice and care online. Through telemedicine, clinical care is provided via technology. In rural areas of the world where healthcare is not nearby, patients can be diagnosed and in some cases treated by a doctor on the other side of the world. It is just one of the many purposes of the Web.
Social Media. One of the most recent uses of the Web is social media. This popular application of technology is utilized by businesses and individuals alike. These are the most popular social media platforms:
Businesses use social media for marketing purposes because it is a more immediate way for them to connect with their customers. Consumers can hear about the latest products from companies, and more easily purchase them. On the other hand, individuals can use social media to share their own personal media and thoughts.
Education. Education is another major purpose that the World Wide Web serves. In recent years, online schools have popped up to give more people the opportunity to complete their education. The Web has made education more accessible than ever. Interactive learning, which allows for students to learn outside of a classroom setting, is becoming more popular. Students are now able to take classes without the teacher being near due to the World Wide Web.
The Future of the World Wide Web
The Deep Web. One of the growing threats to the World Wide Web is the Deep Web. The Deep Web is a matrix of encrypted websites that are not recognized by search engines, and thus are hidden from the public eye. The Deep Web serves as a hideout for criminal activity websites.
Some of the more popular websites on the Deep Web are:
- The Silk Road
- Freedom Hosting
The purchase of drugs and hitmen can be made through the Deep Web and the police are unable to crack down on most transactions. However, some black market websites have recently been busted, and there is a constant fight to stop the Deep Web.
Net neutrality. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has promoted net neutrality, which is simply the free use of the Web. Major corporations like Verizon want to charge customers for preferential access and faster speed for downloading from and uploading to the Web. Berners-Lee argues that the Web needs to remain accessible, and said that “It’s important for the open markets, for the economy and for democracy.” Currently, this issue is being extensively debated in Congress.
Privacy. Through tracking software and cookies, companies are able to track individuals’ computer usage and location. Companies use this information to market specific products and services to individuals. This has recently become an issue because many people believe it is an invasion of privacy. The government, particularly the NSA, or National Security Agency, has monitored personal use of the World Wide Web for potential threats and criminal activity. WikiLeaks founder and activist Julian Assange criticized the governments for invading the privacy of citizens, and then later released classified information on the World Wide Web. Privacy on the World Wide Web will continue to be an issue as long as individuals rely more and more on the internet in their daily lives.
The World Wide Web is a revolutionary innovation that has made information more easily accessible. It has allowed for global connectivity, which was the intention when the founder Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. The Web serves to entertain, educate, and make our lives more convenient. While some companies have attempted to charge for Web use, there is a huge fight to keep the internet free. The Web is a technological advancement that will continue to have a strong presence in the world for the foreseeable future.
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