On Oct. 29, 1969, a student from UCLA sent a message from one networked computer to another using the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the predecessor to the internet. This event is marked as the day the internet was invented, making yesterday, Oct. 29, the 50th anniversary of the internet.
“It’s just been amazing in my lifetime to see the tremendous change, and in a way that we never could have predicted,” science teacher Kathleen Abraham said. “Not only that there would be a way to communicate, but the way that it would expand our world and our ability to communicate. To be alive at this time and see this kind of technological history happen in my lifetime has been amazing and it’s been incredible.”
Senior Matthew St. Jean said he was surprised yesterday was the 50th anniversary. He said he usually thinks of the internet as being around since the mid 1990s, but this event shows how far society has come technologically. History teacher Vanessa Price said she was not, as the internet’s invention is part of natural technological revolution.
Price said the internet has both positive and negative consequences. For one thing, she said it causes people to compare themselves to others, and eliminating the internet might create a better mental health state for people in America. On the other hand, she said teaching would be more difficult without the internet, and news and media can be spread much more quickly than before.
“I use it all day teaching,” Price said. “Then, I use it at home for personal reasons, so a good chunk of my day (is spent on the internet).”
St. Jean said he would not suffer socially if the internet was taken away, as he does well talking to people in person. However, he would not be as updated on things as he is now and would not have the entertainment factors he enjoys so much.
“I don’t like to say that I have a lot of dependence on the internet, but I definitely think that I do,” St. Jean said. “Denying that is not fair, but I definitely depend on the internet for basically everything that I do.”
Abraham agreed with St. Jean, as she said every aspect of her life is touched by the internet. She can look up recipes, download audio books, research subjects she is interested in, and contact friends and family she cannot immediately communicate with in person.
Abraham said that the internet has also made her more self-sufficient in general. For example, she is able to look up how to repair something in her house and repair it on her own as opposed to having an expert or mentor come and do it instead. She said she benefits from the vast amount of information the internet provides.
“Just having information on anything available at all times, for me personally, has made me able to learn so much more about the things I’m interested in,” Abraham said.
By: Graham Grush, News Editor