THE INVISIBLE FORCE: THE POWER BEHIND THE INTERNET



The year is 1989 and sir Tim Berners-Lee a young British computer scientist is working at the Geneva particle laboratory In Switzerland. He realizes that despite the scientific progression made during research at the facility, the information sharing process was a tad bit slow. He proposed sharing information through connected computers to speed up the process. And despite this being a brilliant idea, it was never in the forefront of projects that were to be undertaken. Later on, he wrote three fundamental technologies that have become the foundation and framework of today’s internet.


Our ancestors could have only dreamed about sharing information at the speed of light. Yet here we are, using our devices to communicate and share our thoughts. We tend to give little thought behind the power running our devices, but as soon as we get disconnected, we feel as though we have lost a part of us. We are not wrong to feel so, it is a common and acceptable practice to carry our mobile devices with us everywhere. It can even be said that they have become part of our anatomy, and to prove so consider the mini panic attack you get once you can’t find your phone. In other words, our devices have become so ingrained in how we communicate, that the loss of one is similar to losing a limb.


Having a device is one thing and having it connected to the internet is another. The internet is what gas is to a combustion engine vehicle, the lack of it will limit the use of a device. The internet has become so powerful that new industries emerged because of it. Consider any of the apps that you use on your mobile phone, and look back to a little bit more than a decade ago. Would it have been possible to use them then? Companies such as Facebook, Uber and Google among many others solely rely on the Internet to be in business. The internet has created opportunity and growth in many sectors of the economy, and it has also furthered the advancement of emerging technologies. It could be indeed the 21st century best achievement, just as in the early age’s humans discovered the use of fire and that singular event changed the history and way of life in this planet.


But it is not all a bed of roses, least we forget what the Internet was originally intended for. It meant to be a way to share information at a faster pace than regular post office mail. Almost all kinds of information can be found on the internet. The problems in the modern era has been all kinds of misinformation is also on the internet. How often do you hear or say, “I saw this on the internet”? Without proper means to verify the authenticity of the information found online, everything is up for interpretation. This is where the Internet gets its power, if you can sway the minds of people you can affect the decisions they make. Everything you do on the internet is mapped, every website you visit, every purchase you make and so forth. This information is then tailored for marketing purposes and targets your needs.


But don’t you worry since the Internet cannot be controlled by any one person or organization. The internet is an intangible entity, it is not something that exists and can be found at any one location. The internet is a sum of all the networks and computers that are connected in the world. The information is stored everywhere and anywhere, so be rest assured there is no evil power behind the internet. We are all contributors to the world wide web, so what exactly are your contributions to the Internet. Is your contribution adding to the knowledge of humanity, or are you merely a consumer that gets swayed by others?


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