Even for those of us that remember the 90s, it is hard to recall what we did before the days of mobile devices and constant access to the internet. In 1984, less than 10% of households had a computer or access to the internet. Today, there are about 900,000 domains registered per week. So in about 30 years, we went from barely any computers in homes to almost one million new websites registered each week. Here are some more ways the internet evolved from then to now.
Today, there is instant access to all kinds of information from shopping to entertainment, to work. In the 1990s, people had no clue what the internet did and could barely explain the basic concept. Not only that, but they could not imagine contacting a friend immediately. These were the days of meeting your friends at the park and being home for dinner. Your parents didn't have a clue what you were doing. Today, they can track you with an app on their phone. So much of the 90s tv and culture has influenced what we do today. Do you remember your TV in the 90s? It was a big, bulky, heavy piece of equipment. It probably didn't have a remote control, and it only gave you access to three major channels and maybe ten others that were expanding. Today, we have flat screens with small remotes and internet TV that gives us access to an enormous number of channels.
Do you remember watching movies on VHS tapes that you had to push a button to rewind? Can you imagine a time when you had to change the tape in the middle of the movie because it was too long for just one cassette? Now, you can get movies within seconds over the internet with streaming services, and no rewinding is required.
We have instantaneous access to everyone all the time. So much so that people have to choose to disconnect themselves. In the early 90s, few people had cell phones, and they were by no means smartphones. They were also big, clunky, and did not have a touch screen. It wasn't until 1991 that the first cellular network was established. Most of the phones in the mid-90s were flip phones, but 90s tv and culture helped pave the way for today's mobile devices.
While having instant access to all the information you need whenever you want is a great milestone. It does not come without risks. Fraud and internet crime are on the rise, and it's important to pay attention any time you are online, which is all the time for most people. When the internet is used to communicate fraudulent or false representations to consumers, it is considered an internet crime.
Online shopping has transformed significantly since the 90s. First, the internet made it possible to buy items online and have them shipped. Then, Amazon made it possible to find just about anything and have it shipped within two days. We can now order food and items from a local store and have them delivered in a few hours. Not only are items more accessible to us, but businesses are easier to find.
Our ability to search changed, but so have businesses. They can make themselves more accessible online now. Businesses that were only available in person now have the technology to offer services via the internet. For example, design-build firms can take care of an entire home project top to bottom with one team of experts online. A quick search enables you to find any business within a certain perimeter of you.
The 90s were just a starting point for so many technological advances. Those who lived through it had no idea what was unfolding right in front of our eyes.