First of all, let me present myself. I am a 30 plus individual with a strong affinity for technology, especially computers. The first computer I have ever met was a ZX81 Spectrum – a machine that was new at the time. I used it at school to write programs and to play – I consider those games the best ones ever built.
As the time passed, I have met more and more sophisticated computers. First, a Spectrum 128, than a Commodore 64 (Amiga was not popular, or not affordable back then), and later the first XT PCs. I didn’t know of ARPAnet and the similar efforts to build a network, until the 1990s, when Windows 95 was launched.
I soon discovered the internet – Google was not the giant it is today, we searched using Yahoo and communicated through ICQ and IRC with each other. We were hungry for information, we learned new things about the world, we were excited to communicate with a man or woman half a world away and we learned about protocols, HTML and design while these technologies were still evolving.
For us, the internet was the gate through which we could finally leave our boring world, and see exciting new things from all corners of the globe. No wonder it has slowly become our way of life, our source of income and our passion at the same time.
The years have passed, and the way people use the internet has changed. It has transformed from a tool used for learning into a huge load of advertising, from a source of information into a place where deception and mass manipulation is used on a daily basis, a tool for huge corporations, political parties and religions to gather their disciples and amass huge wealth.
Today’s internet user does not understand the network, but uses it without questioning its nature. If you ask today’s youngster what WWW means, he will just ask you “Why, does it mean anything?” and walk away, updating his Facebook status about this weird old fart who has asked him a weird question in the middle of the street. Today’s youngsters have blogs, but no idea what the word means. They have Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Tinder and Pinterest accounts, having no idea what it means to build such a tool.
Today’s youngsters take the internet for granted, and use it for idly wasting their time. They have access to all the information of the world, and free of charge too, and all they do is look at funny cats and stupid little girls seeking attention by showing their underwear on social networks.
The internet is so much more – but they have no idea what it means, and not the faintest about how to use it. I think Sir Tim now looks down on us from CERN and thinks “Where did I go wrong?”…