Thursday 18th July 2019

It’s an alien lifeform” – David Bowie speaking about the internet in 1999

Thanks to Tim Berners Lee, we now have access to an endless array of information at our fingertips. Here’s a little history lesson: in 1990, Berners-Lee introduced the internet to the world, and just a year later, in 1991, he created the world’s first website:, which detailed the concept of the internet, plus how to create and manage your own website. Very handy!

We know how the rest of the story goes – for the next few years, the internet simply grew in popularity and familiarity, entering our businesses, our homes and our collective consciousness.

Predicting the future

It was in 1999, during an interview with Jeremy Paxman, that British rock sensation David Bowie perhaps predicted the power the internet would hold in the next few decades:

I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg; I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society both good and bad is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.

The state of content is going to be so different from anything we can envisage at the moment. With the interplay between the user and the provider will be so in simpatico, it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.

Did Bowie get it right? Well, according to the stats, he’s not far off: per the World Economic Forum, it took the internet four years to reach the milestone of 50 million users.

To put that into perspective, television only reached that milestone after 13 years, while radio took 38 years. However, before you praise the internet for being one of the fastest user-adopted inventions of our time, read this: while four years may be impressive, Pokémon Go reached 50 million users in just 19 days back in 2016!

11 amazing statistics

Let’s take a closer look at the how the internet has shaped our modern life, with 11 amazing statistics detailing the impact that it’s had on our world:

1. Four billion out of the seven billion people on earth are onlineWe Are Social

2. Facebook has 2.234 billion users, which is approximately 30% of the world’s population – Statista

3. 250 billion emails are sent on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, a massive 80% are spamLifeHacks

4. One hundred percent of Iceland’s citizens use the internet – Hosting Facts

5. Over four million blog posts are published daily – Hosting Facts

6. Over five billion Google searches are made every single day – Seo

7. 400 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every single minute – Brandwatch

8. There are 4.9 million apps on Google Play and the Apple App store combined – LifeHacks

9. Fifty-one percent of all internet traffic is fake, coming via bots and spamming software. Only 49% of traffic originates from actual people – Axios

10. In case you are concerned about a major disaster taking down the internet (along with your online banking, Facebook or Instagram accounts), not to worry, the internet is controlled by just seven people. These people are assigned to the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)”. Each member holds a key and in case of a major disaster, the designated seven can restore the internet.

11. By the time it’s taken you to read this blog, 1,200 You Tube videos will have been uploaded, 8,333 blogs will have been posted, almost 10.5 million Google searches will have been completed, and around 417 million spam emails will have been sent globally.

To requote Bowie; “It’s an alien lifeform”.

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