It feels like it was just yesterday that we were all sitting patiently in front of our computers, listening to the jaw-clenching, crackling beep-boop of our AOL dial-up modems connecting to the Web, going out to walk the dog while waiting for a song to download, or asking Jeeves the weight of an average Beluga whale.
We’ve been living on the Internet, in various degrees, for more than a decade now, and it’s often easy to forget how dramatically it has changed over the years – and changed our way of life. As fast as we’re hurtling towards the future these days, it’s occasionally worth it to step back and take stock of our current technological situation.
This interactive infographic from Online Schools sets out to do just that, delivering “The State of the Internet” in a dynamic, flashing, bells-and-whistles presentation that mirrors the fast-paced frenzy of the Internet we have grown to know so well. Fascinating facts abound, from the trivial-yet-astounding (‘Justin Bieber’ is a more popular search term than ‘Jesus’), to the truly breathtaking (152 million blogs exist online – that’s roughly 1 for every 2 Americans). From the moment you open the graphic, live counters measure how many new Internet users have logged on for the first time (about 7 per second, by my count), new websites (just under one per second), and other metrics. We feel the speed with which the Internet is moving every time we refresh our Twitter streams, but rarely do we get to see it quantified in so detailed a way.
While it may seem obvious that the Internet’s influence has seeped into nearly every nook and cranny of our lives, we tend to take this fact for granted. Whether it’s political influence, and the Internet’s crucial role in the various people’s uprisings in the Middle East; social influence, with the seemingly radical way Facebook has altered the way we Interact with those around us; or cultural influence, from tweeting pop stars to Wikipedia’s democratic restructuring of the way we access and distribute information; the Internet has changed the way we live, and profoundly. On the one hand, it’s awe inspiring to look back and see how far we’ve come; on the other, it makes one all the more excited – or, perhaps, nervous – about what the future may hold.
Click to launch The State of the Internet Infographic
Created by: Online Schools