How the Internet is Getting Younger [Infographic]

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As the Internet becomes more ubiquitous in our world, younger generations are changing the way that the masses interact with and use the web. This infographic visualizes how the web has grown over time and the impact teenagers have had.

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For many of us at WebFX, we grew up at the same time as the Internet. We remember our parents plugging phone lines into the back of our 28.8k (or 56k, if we were lucky) modems, and the awful noises those modems made as they connected to the vast, albeit very slow, world of the internet. There were probably a few fights among siblings over who got online next, and a few accidental disconnections when someone picked up the phone. We fondly remember the first time we used DSL or cable, and how much faster it seemed. We remember our first cell phones, and how strange it was to be able to access the internet wirelessly, to do things on the go, and to communicate with text messages.

Things have definitely changed since the early days of the Internet. Although it’s a way of life for us now — we are an internet marketing company, after all! — it’s strange to look back and see how far we’ve come. Since 2000, when the internet was beginning to see in-home adoption rates of 40%, usage has risen dramatically and in unexpected ways. Children and teenagers now need the internet for homework and research, whereas many of us spent our elementary school days with our noses in library books!

Even as smartphone and tablet usage rates continue to rise, with 91% of adults in the US now owning a cell phone, the “age” of the internet just keeps getting younger. Children now begin consuming social media at an average age of only eight, and teens are now spending approximately five hours per day online. As the World Wide Web celebrates its 25th anniversary, this infographic gives us a closer look at how usage has changed over the years, and how teenagers — many who have never known a world without internet — are adjusting their online habits and behaviors.