Wow! The Internet turned 25. Do you remember when you started using computers and technology? I can.
I think my first computer was the Commodore 64 which we plugged into our home TV for a monitor and used a tape recorder to store files and access programs.
I can remember when we got 3 Macintosh computers to use at school.
I can remember when we got our IBM PC Jr.
After that, computers started being a little more common where we had them in high school for typing, but at the same time, people were using electric typewriters more than computers. (I can’t believe that they still sell electric typewriters – see Wal-Mart ad.)
I can then remember being at the University of Michigan with massive computer labs of Apple computers. At that time, I still remember using the Gopher technology that had been developed out of the University of Minnesota and pre-dated today’s Internet and HTML.
This eventually led to all the excitement about physical companies having websites and being able to do amazing things like order pizza online…the rise of e-commerce and eventually the dotcom bubble.
I still smile when I think that one of my first assignments in healthcare was to convince managed care companies to build a website. I flew all around the country as a consultant with Ernst & Young LLP meeting with teams to convince them of what the Internet could do, why they should build a website, what functionality to put on it, and how to drive members to the website.
And, now, our kids grow up with this as normal. Everything can be “googled”. There is no card catalog to look things up or waiting to figure out why someone is late. Things are instantly available. (If you’ve never seen the list of what graduates will never remember, here’s a link to their 2017 graduate list. Always interesting.)
So, I’ll wrap this up with a look at the future from a new report by PEW. Here’s 15 predictions from their report:
1) Information sharing over the Internet will be so effortlessly interwoven into daily life that it will become invisible, flowing like electricity, often through machine intermediaries.
2) The spread of the Internet will enhance global connectivity that fosters more planetary relationships and less ignorance.
3) The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and big data will make people more aware of their world and their own behavior.
4) Augmented reality and wearable devices will be implemented to monitor and give quick feedback on daily life, especially tied to personal health.
5) Political awareness and action will be facilitated and more peaceful change and public uprisings like the Arab Spring will emerge.
6) The spread of the ‘Ubernet’ will diminish the meaning of borders, and new ‘nations’ of those with shared interests may emerge and exist beyond the capacity of current nation-states to control.
7) The Internet will become ‘the Internets’ as access, systems, and principles are renegotiated
8) An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on real estate and teachers.
9) Dangerous divides between haves and have-nots may expand, resulting in resentment and possible violence.
10) Abuses and abusers will ‘evolve and scale.’ Human nature isn’t changing; there’s laziness, bullying, stalking, stupidity, pornography, dirty tricks, crime, and those who practice them have new capacity to make life miserable for others.
11) Pressured by these changes, governments and corporations will try to assert power — and at times succeed — as they invoke security and cultural norms.
12) People will continue — sometimes grudgingly — to make tradeoffs favoring convenience and perceived immediate gains over privacy; and privacy will be something only the upscale will enjoy.
13) Humans and their current organizations may not respond quickly enough to challenges presented by complex networks.
14) Most people are not yet noticing the profound changes today’s communications networks are already bringing about; these networks will be even more disruptive in the future.
15) Foresight and accurate predictions can make a difference; ‘The best way to predict the future is to invent it.’