Can you imagine a world without the Internet?Try to visualize how our current existence would be without instant access to information and ease of communication. Imagine how time-consuming it would be to look up information on your favorite basketball player or connect with faraway friends. That internet-less world existed before 1991, but everything changed after that when the WWW became publicly available. We owe a lot to the Internet; that’s why on October 29 of every year, the world celebrates Internet Day, an innovation that many consider the most important invention in human history.
History of Internet DayThe history of that day goes back to October 29, 1969, when Charley Kline, a grad student on the UCLA campus, sent the first internet message to his colleague, Bill Duvall, at Stanford while working on something called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the U.S. Defense Department-funded network that connected four terminals installed at UCLA. The message he sent was one word: “LOGIN.” The use of the Internet has swept the world since then. As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide - 59.5 percent of the global population. The use of the Internet has expanded to include mobile devices. According to the report The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2021by GSM Association, more than half the world’s population uses mobile Internet for the first time. “By the end of 2020, 51% of the world’s population – just over 4 billion people – were using mobile internet, an increase of 225 million since the end of 2019,” said the report. Internet traffic is still expected to expand even more. According to UNCTAD Digital Economy Report 2021, global internet protocol traffic in 2022 will exceed all the internet traffic up to 2016. Other key findings in the UNCTAD report include the following:
- The data-driven digital economy is rapidly evolving amidst huge divides in digital readiness.
- Cross-border data flows are a new kind of international economic flow, which leads to a new form of global interdependence.
- Regulating data flows at the international level has become more urgent.
How to celebrate Internet Day?Do you have any plans to celebrate this day? Here are some suggestions:
- Visit the very first website, which is still online.
- Learn more about the history of the Internet.
- Wish your friends and colleagues Internet Day messages by posting your celebrations on social media using the hashtag #InternationalInternetDay or #InternetDay.