The Internet is evolving almost faster than we can keep up with it. With all the constant changes in web technology, it's amusing to see how far we've come since the days of chain emails and GeoCities. Here are some of the biggest ways the Internet has transformed during the past decade.
Chat Rooms Went Out of Style
One of the most ancient of all Internet relics is the chat room. Before modern social networking became an aspect of daily life, chat rooms were the place where everyone went to express their thoughts to the world. Was this really the only outlet we had before Twitter?
Sitting in a chat room 10 years ago meant reading all the bizarre comments and all-caps shouting matches you could handle in one sitting. Sure, having a captive audience for all of our thoughts was great, but was it even worth it?
AOL Instant Messenger Was Replaced
Of course, if chat rooms ever seemed too public for anyone, there was always AOL Instant Messenger. AIM has seen a decline in popularity recently, but you have to wonder if we're going to miss it.
Individually adding your friends to a "buddy list" seems like a hassle considering Facebook has its own messenger, and Skype handles phone and video calls more efficiently than AIM did a decade ago. And although chatting with "SmarterChild" may have been a fun time waster, asking an AIM bot for sports updates and the weather is pointless in a world of smart phones.
Web Browsers Evolved
Even the programs we use for browsing the Web have changed dramatically. Ten years ago, almost everyone was using Internet Explorer, but we now have the choice between Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and a few of others.
Remember the slow, clunky performance of old browsers? Remember the constant barrage of pop-up ads? Just as modern DSL providers have replaced slow dial-up connections, modern web browsers also run faster than in years past. They're also packed with features to enhance your web surfing experience, such as malware protection, private browsing, custom themes and layouts.
Old Social Networks Disappeared
Facebook now gives over 1 billion users access to their own online profiles, but social networking wasn't always so successful. This fact probably isn't surprising to anyone who ever used MySpace or Friendster; back in those days, users would spend hours learning HTML to change even the simplest details of their profile.
A decade ago, Twitter was still powered by text messages, and bloggers could basically choose between two ancient versions of Tumblr: LiveJournal and Xanga. Thankfully, social networks are now seamlessly integrated into our browsers and mobile devices, and their aesthetics have been updated to reflect the times.
It's impossible to tell where the Internet will take us in years to come. Will Facebook continue to grow in popularity, or will it fall by the wayside like chat rooms, AIM, and MySpace? As the past 10 years have shown, the Internet is always making room for new innovations.
Abigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter.