It’s hard to think of anything that has had such a major impact on our lives, in such a short period of time, in quite the way that the internet has. It is said now, that most people spend more time on the internet, than they do watching television and that has happened in just twenty years or so. This year, the World Wide Web is twenty five years old, while the internet is forty five years old and here are ten facts about the internet that you may not have known:
1. What’s the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web?
For our fact number one, let’s clear up the common misconception that the internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing. The internet has been around for far longer than the web and the term refers to all the computers that are linked together by the network. The web is the way that we access the information that is held on the internet via connected websites that communicate using the HTTP protocol.
2. It is now the most popular way for couples to meet
More married couples meet online than through any other means. The most common way to meet your spouse used to be via an introduction by friends or family, but now the internet has pushed that into second place and now it is responsible for nearly 20% of married couples meeting getting together.
3. It is the fastest growing means of communication ever
The web has been the fastest growing method of communication in human history. It took over ten years before TV reached 50 million users, but, the internet reached 50 million users in just four years.
4. Devices connected to the web outnumber humans
Another one of interesting facts about the internet is that, according to statistics, there are a lot more devices connected to the web than real human beings.
5. The US does not have the most internet users
Despite the prominence of US technology companies on the internet, surprisingly, the US cannot boast the most internet users in the world. Asia has the most internet users with over 35%, Europe is second with around 30% and the USA comes in third place with about 20% of the world’s internet users.
6. Internet users have very short attention spans
Internet users don’t hang around when they are surfing. Most users will dip into, and dip out again, of a webpage in the first ten seconds, so if your reading this sixth of our interesting facts about the internet, thank you!
7. Billions of people use the internet every day
It is estimated that nearly 2.5 billion people surf the web every single day and that’s nearly 40% of the world’s population.
8. There is far more to the web than you see
Nobody actually knows how big the World Wide Web is, but they do know that what you find on the search engines are only a fraction of all the content that exists. Most of the information that the web holds is buried and not linked to at all.
9. The first webcam was used to watch the coffee!
Here is another one of funny interesting facts about the internet: the first webcam ever used was set up by students at Cambridge University for nothing more serious than to see when the fresh coffee was ready.
10. 75% of email messages are spam
Thankfully, spam filters on your email account mean that you probably don’t see much of the spam that is sent to you, but it is estimated that 75% of all emails are spam. Incidentally, the term spam is thought to have come from a Monty Python sketch in which all the items on a café menu had spam in.