As the World Wide Web turns 25, we took a look at some of the ways it has shaped modern life.
Can you imagine a world without the World Wide Web? Ninety percent of Internet users say the Internet has been a good thing for them personally, according to a Pew Research report released in honor of the Web's 25th birthday. The Internet was first used in the 1960s, but it was Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web that made it accessible to the masses and shaped the way we interact with the Internet today. The structure of the Web's information management system was proposed in a paper March 12, 1989, before the code was released for free on Christmas Day 1990. Since then, the World Wide Web has been linking people across the globe and offering seemingly endless amounts of information to its users. Here are 12 of the reasons why we think we should celebrate what the World Wide Web has given us so far in its 25 years. Let us know what you think the Web's best features are in the comments section. Google This search tool has become a mammoth institution so ingrained in our daily lives that we've turned its name into a verb - everyone knows that if you have a question, you should just "Google" it. Connectivity The Web has provided a gathering place for people who are geographically far apart, but still want to stay connected. Facebook and other social networks make it easy for people to share photos and other life moments with friends and loved ones. Technically, services like Skype and email don't need the World Wide Web to operate, but they still exploit its architecture. Maps Remember the days where you had to keep big maps in your car and draw diagrams of the streets around your house for friends coming to visit? Now all you need is an address and you can type it online to find the fastest route in a matter of seconds. Video streaming With services like Hulu and Netflix, you don't have to wait for your favorite show to come on TV - you can watch pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Online education The tools for advancing education can be accessed in even the most remote locations with the help of the Web. Universities offer the chance to complete your formal education through online courses and institutions like the Khan Academy aim to give everyone the opportunity to learn for free. Genealogy Researching your family history used to require phone calls or sometimes even trips to distant locations to find information about long-lost ancestors, but now vast amounts of records are available online. 24-hour news The latest news is available online at all times of the day. Often within moments of a natural disaster or tragedy, the story will spread like wildfire across the world. Updates can be made in real time and anyone can contribute to the reporting with the help of services like Twitter. YouTube With the advent of YouTube and similar video services, anyone can find a platform to share their talents, or lack thereof, with the world. It has been the birthplace of stars like Justin Bieber and fads like the Harlem Shake. Crowd funding Kickstarter recently announced it surpassed $1 billion in pledges, demonstrating the power crowd funding websites have garnered. With it, startup businesses can find financing for their projects outside of traditional sources like banks. Crowd funding has also helped connect people for charitable purposes on sites like GiveForward and YouCaring. eBay The Internet brought the world's greatest garage sale right to your home with services like eBay. You can bid on whatever items you desire, like Beanie Babies or movies. Working from home The Web has made it easier than ever to work from home because you can still stay connected to the world and even conduct research from the comfort of your couch. Cats You may think we had cats on Earth long before the World Wide Web came around, but those were of an entirely different species. Now we've come to know lol cats, Grumpy Cat and all of their crazy friends. Is the cat bid cheesy? Yes. Do we secretly love it? Yes.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D152961%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E