Celebrating 25 Years of the World Wide Web Friday 7 March 2014

This month sees the 25th Birthday of the World Wide Web and to celebrate we’re looking back at the phenomenal growth of the web and the many ways in which it has shaped the world we live in today. Originally conceived by Sir Tim Berners Lee as a way to improve communication at his workplace in CERN, the World Wide Web has developed into a necessity that people now feel that they absolutely can’t live without.

Research conducted by the Pew Research Centre has looked in depth at Internet usage since the web’s inception and the changing perceptions over the last 25 years.  From 1.4% of Americans reporting they use the Internet in the earliest study in 1983, now 87% report using it in 2014. The percentage rises to 99% for those living in households earning $75,000 or more, 99% amongst 18-29 year olds and 97% for those with college degrees.

The way we access the Internet has changed too, with one third of US adults surveyed reporting that their mobile phone is their primary point of access to the Internet rather than a desktop or laptop computer.

The Internet has revolutionised life for many of us. 90% of net users felt that the Internet had been a good thing for them personally, with 67% saying it had strengthened their relationships with friends and family. 70% had been treated kindly or generously by others online whilst 56% said they had seen an online group come together and help a person or community solve a problem.

The study also found that 46% of Americans would now find the Internet ‘hard to give up’ in comparison to 44% for mobile phones, 35% for television and only 10% for social media.  The Internet has become so integral to modern life that 39% of the US population now feel like they absolutely need to have access.

25 years of the World Wide Web – An infographic by the team at CWCS

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