But what was it like growing up with the Internet/web/thing?
I’m not that old to have started with the very first computers, but old enough to have seen and used DOS, the first Windows, OS/2, Win3.1, the first graphical interfaces, the keyboard games, the Win95 era, the UNIX before Linux era, and then the controversies with Win 2000, Win ME, Win 98, etc. Before Google. When the internet was quite something new and fresh and slow and limited and manual dialup.
Especially that the internet was open and free and anyone at home was loading up sites, in manual html, on primitive blogs, pages, etc. You made your own corner on the web, you made your own page, and people went to your page. That was the open and interconnected world wide intranet.
And it slowly became into hosted pages on the big players. Maybe it became easier to post content, but you lost some control in the hosting, the permanence etc.
And then it became the mobile, and the app walls, and all that.
What is it now? Another TV stream of content curated by algorithms and censors and ad-linked to your supposed preferences? Another media stream unlike personal content? The medium, the purpose, the culture has warped so much that it’s almost taking on an entire new meaning.
Now companies still host their own sites, services, posts, but it could even be gone in the future. If it’s no longer possible or feasible to keep up with the big players in maintaining infrastructure, capability, security, functionality, then it will be offloaded and ceded away. A way of homogenizing of course. Just like how Facebook pages are the current trend for small solo operations or politicians. How weird it is.
Pretty soon it will be less of a interconnect model rather than a simple distribution model from the big four datacenter operators who also coincidentally own the big four services.
Maybe the globe is still open enough, free enough, big enough that it won’t be the case. That the world inside China is a big and deep unknown to us English speakers, that the world inside India will splinter into it’s own unique type of mess. Sometimes the planet feels small, but can also be bigger than you think.
If browsers change, security change, URL change, what could the new web look like? And would cybersecurity still be the same relevance inside a less open web. And would all the fiber and bandwidth mean nothing in the future? It’s like how home internet is a utility fee we dont wince at paying, but in the past, having a Singtel Magix ADSL at home was a luxury and extraordinary thing. Is it like having a subscription starbucks coffee vs making your own drink at home?
What do the young see of the internet? It could be quite different, and also varies across countries.