worldThe World Wide Web turns 25 today. It is one of the most important and heavily-used parts of the network of computer networks that make up the Internet.

The Internet is the network that connects computers, while the Web is the hyperlinked text and graphical layer of the Internet that was laid out in a proposal by Tim Berners-Lee in March 1989.

Berners-Lee’s invention of the Web is what turned the Internet from a geeky data-transfer system used by universities and a few enthusiasts into a mass-adopted technology that is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The 25th anniversary of the Web provides an opportunity to reflect on the rapid growth of the Internet and how it has integrated and improved our lives. Think about the impact of the Internet on everything we do: the way we get, share, and create news; the way we take care of our health; the way we perform our jobs; the way we learn; and the style and scope of our communications with friends and family.

Here are a few interesting highlights from a new report “The Web at 25” from the Pew Research Center:

Internet Use

87% of American adults now use the Internet, with near-saturation usage among those living in households earning $75,000 or more (99%) and those with college degrees (97%). But more telling for the future is the fact that 97% of all young adults ages 18-29 use the Internet.

Mobile Connection

68% of adults connect to the Internet with mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers.

  • 90% of U.S. adults have a cell phone, but 98% of young adults have one.
  • 58% of U.S. adults have a smartphone, but that figure is 83% among young adults.

Value of the Internet

Over half of all Internet users say it would be very hard to give up, compared with only 1/3 of all adults who say their TV would be very hard to give up.

39% of  the whole population of the U.S. says the Internet is essential to them for job-related or other reasons.

What does the Internet mean in your life?

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