On this day – October 29th, 1969 – the Internet was born. The first connection on what would eventually become the Internet was made when data was exchanged between computers at UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). It was the beginning of ARPANET, an early version of the Internet as we know it, developed by the Department of Defense.
The transmission sent read “lo.” The dispatch was originally sent as “login,” but only the first two letters were received before the system crashed.
By the end of 1969, the University of Santa Barbara and the University of Utah were connected to UCLA and SRI, bringing the total up to four connected sites. The following year, there were ten.
And thus, the Internet was born. Well, kind of.
The Internet, as we know it, didn’t come to be overnight. It was a process, and there were other significant milestones along the way too. And that’s great.
But the big takeaway here is that 46 years ago, there was no Internet – and now there is – and for that, we should be very grateful. I’m talking about an Internet national holiday level of gratitude here. The kind of gratitude that gets you the day off work – hopefully paid.
Allow me to delve a little deeper.
I’m grateful for the Internet every time I make an online purchase, when I pay my bills online (no stamps – yay!), or when I’m having trouble deciding where to go for lunch.
Or when I’m not sure of the meaning of a certain term or phrase – and I can Google it – that’s pretty awesome. No one likes to have to admit their ignorance.
Without the Internet, how would I listen to music? Would I be recording cassette tapes off the radio like I did as a child in the 90s?
I don’t know where I’d be, literally, without the use of GPS on my phone.
I’m thankful for the Internet when I’m reminded to take my pill. I’m thankful for the Internet when I Netflix and chill.
Then, there’s social media and online gaming. No one likes those, right?
We can use the Internet to order pizza (or any other food for that matter) and have it delivered. If that’s not something to be grateful for, I don’t know what is.
What about the ability to learn whatever you want, whenever you want? Think about that for a minute. The vast wealth of knowledge and information available to anyone with access to the Internet is incredible. In-cred-ible.
And then there’s the way the Internet has changed the way we do business, and how the Internet has powered businesses. The level of impact is astronomical.
Think about what you do to make it though an average day – and imagine it without use of the Internet. It’s pretty hard to envision what that would be like anymore. The Internet is so integral to our daily communication, to our businesses, to our lives – a world without Internet is hard to think about as anything other than the past.
If the Internet was gone tomorrow, what would you miss the most? It’s hard to even pick just one thing.
So, how about that national holiday?
Happy birthday, Internet. We love you.