We all know the internet is a big deal. It’s right within our reach every second of every single day. But TBH, have you ever stopped to wonder just how much the internet has penetrated our lives? Have you ever tried to put a number, or numbers, on the sheer magnitude of our digital age? It leaves you just SMH, IKR?
Most of us haven’t; it’s simply too big to think about. But failing to do so means you’ll miss the significance of the transformation we’re currently going through as a global society. We sure have come a long way since Linux and MySpace, and before you know it something will surpass Tiktok and even 4K HDR.
To help you fully appreciate the internet and all its glory, here are seven facts that will make your head spin.
#1 There Are Currently More Than 4 Billion Internet Users Around the World
That’s more than half the entire population. At first glance, maybe this number seems low to you. After all, if you look around you, chances are that everyone in your life and everyone they know has access to the internet. But when we take into account children, many of whom don’t have internet access, older adults, we’re left with a number that is roughly 4 billion, give or take. That’s pretty incredible. Of course, internet use is still growing in many parts of the world, as is population, so we can expect this number to continue to rise.
Over the past decade, growth has been pretty unequal. Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have all seen exponential growth in the number of internet users, and we can expect this trend to continue as these markets continue to experience deeper internet penetration. There is also strong growth in Mexico, China, Russia, and Canada. There is even room for more growth in established locations like Boston and Hollywood.
#2 96 percent of the internet is the “dark web”
Most of us access the internet through search engines. We go to Google, or Bing, or Yahoo!, type in what we want to know and choose the content to consume based on what appears in search results. However, the content available through search engines represents just the tip of the iceberg in terms of all the content that’s available on the web.
The rest of the stuff that’s out there, the stuff we can’t find on search engines, is what’s known as the dark or the deep web. A lot of it is just raw data that most of us don’t have any need for anyway, but there are also a lot of people out there using the internet for “less-than-legal” means, and they are using the dark web to do it. There are also crazy technologies like deep learning and computer vision, and now we have even more search engines such as DuckDuckGo, Yandex, and Ecosia.
#3 There are more than 500 million blogs out there; one quarter of all websites
Blogging has been around since the internet went mainstream, and although it has changed considerably since the early days of the web, one thing remains true: blogs are extremely popular.
That blogs continue to have such a presence in our lives speaks to what the internet means to many of us; it’s a place where individuals can express themselves freely about whatever topic that interests them, and where people from all walks of life can connect with one another and share ideas. Find a blog and live vicariously through the comings and goings. Then, toss around a GIF or MEME on Twitter. It’s all part of the internet culture.
#4 Google Processes Around 63,000 Searches Per Minute
You don’t need to be a very keen observer to know that Google is the top dog when it comes to search engines. At the moment, it controls around 90 percent of the search engine market, with four different other companies all competing for that final ten percent.
However, the sheer number of searches Google processes is absolutely insane. It goes through 63,000 searches in a second, which translates to more than 200 million an hour, more than five billion per day, and just about 2 trillion per year. Trillion with a ‘t’ – it’s easy to see why “Google it!” has become a part of out everyday vernacular.
#5 The Average Person Spends Around 116 minutes Per Day on Social Media
In many ways, social media was a logical product of the internet, and its invention has also helped to make the internet a bigger part of our lives. After all, humans are social creatures, and the interconnection the web provides helps build off this natural part of who we are. But the amount of time we spend on social media each day is rather staggering. Just look into how often your friends and family are on Facebook or Instagram.
One hundred and sixteen minutes, which is just less than two hours per day, works out to about five and a half days over the course of a sixty-six year life. Most of us live longer than that, so we can expect to spend about a week scrolling through Facebook and Instagram while we wander around this Earth. Is that good or bad? You be the judge.
#6 The eCommerce Industry is Worth More than $3.75 Trillion
One thing the internet has definitely changed is the way in which we do business. People love to shop online thanks to the convenience and also the savings – more places to shop means more competition and better deals.
In 2020, the eCommerce industry – the name given to the world of online sales – did more than $3.75 trillion in sales. That number has been going up consistently over the past few years, and it’s expected to keep rising for the foreseeable future. Whether or not this will replace traditional brick and mortar shopping is yet to be seen, but it’s clear that online shopping, spearheaded by giants such as Amazon, is having a dramatic impact on our world. Live streaming is also becoming a huge economic sector, and of course there is Youtube.
#7 Cybercrime Costs the Global Economy Around $445 Billion Per Year
Just in case you got sucked in by the idea that the internet is all fun and games, remember that there are a lot of bad people out there using the internet for a lot of bad things. Cybercriminals are after your personal data, your personal information, your money, and anything else they can get their hands on. And they’re quite good at what they do. Currently, cybercrime costs the world just under a half a trillion dollars a year. As things get more and more connected and the stakes get higher, expect this number to grow even more.
Our Digital World
Just like the web that we see on search engines is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s available online, so is this post in terms of staggering facts about the internet. Truly, as a human society, we’ve never see a technology so transformative, and as we move forward in time, it will continue to reshape nearly everything we do. Things are changing so quickly we often don’t even realize they’ve changed until the world as we know it is entirely different.