A Disruptive Positive Force, The World Wide Web Turns 25

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News Posted: Fri, Feb 28 2014 1:45 PM
As the World Wide Web rounds the quarter-century mark, the Pew Research Internet Project conducted a survey on trends surrounding the Web, what it’s made possible, and what sort of adoption it enjoys.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Internet use has skyrocketed among American adults since the mid-1990s; Pew has those numbers pegged as 15% adoption in 1995 and 87% in 2014. (What is notable is that 13% of adults still don’t use the Internet.)

Pew Internet
Source: Pew Research Center

Of further interest is that there’s economic disparity among active Internet users. In households earning more than $75,000, use of the Web is at “near saturation”, which means that there’s a disproportionate number of people under that economic line that aren’t connected.

A full 90% of those Internet users view the Web as good thing for themselves personally, but just 76% think it’s been good for society as a whole; very few see it as a negative for themselves, while 15% think that it’s been negative for society at large.

Pew Internet
Source: Pew Research Center

One item that seems to stick out in this survey is that among Internet users, just over half feel that Web access would be “very hard” to give up; just 49% of cell phone users say the same, and only 35% would have a hard time killing their TVs. For those of us who essentially live, work, communicate, and find our entertainment online, this seems shocking.

What is indisputable is the fact that the Web has changed things; it’s shrunk the world, in a good way, and it continues to do so. It’s been a massively disruptive force, but a positive one.

Pew Internet
Source: Pew Research Center

This Pew survey is rich with additional findings, and we encourage you to take some time to read through all five pages and taking some time to ponder where the World Wide Web has taken you.
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CDeeter replied on Fri, Feb 28 2014 9:48 PM

I can honestly say if it wasn't for the internet, and PCs in general I wouldn't be where I am today. It's funny that the survey starts in 1995. That's when I first got into building computers, and ventured out onto the web, and has led to the career I have today.

Here's to the next 25 years, cheers.

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Tell me about it. The Internet makes my *entire lifestyle* possible. Work--obviously--but also staying in touch with far-flung friends and family, putting interesting stuff out into the world, storing and sharing precious family pics and vids. And that's not even scratching the surface of all the time I spend Googling for help in repairing/renovating my old house...

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