What Is the Internet?

Indeed. What is the internet? Most simply, it is information shared between two computers. Emails are the internet. Facebook is the internet. This post is the internet. And quite probably your telephone and television at home are the internet.

“Well, sure, but that window that opens when I clicked that blue underlined text in my email, that’s not the internet.” Yes, yes it is. “Okay, but that picture gallery of my uncle’s vacation to Machu Picchu can’t be the internet.” And yet it is.

If it has anything to do with you viewing on your computer files, photos, video, or information of any kind that aren’t actually on your computer, that’s the internet.

“Well, then, my television at home isn’t the internet.” Wrong. Unless you use rabbit ears or have an antenna on your roof. That digital signal is a series of ones and zeros coming from a computer at the cable company, and your television (or more specifically, your cable box) is another computer that figures out how to make those ones and zeros into Two and a Half Men. “Oh, is that what it’s for?” Yes, that’s what it’s for.

Your internet browser, on the other hand, is not the internet. The little blue e is not the internet. The curled up fox and the compass are not the internet. They are internet browsers, specially-produced software for navigating the World Wide Web, which is a [very large and growing exponentially] group of inter-linked documents.

I think that’s all I have in me to say about the internet. I will leave you with a funny, and quite false, discussion of the internet: This, Jen, is the internet.