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‘Felt Like Magic:’ On the World Wide Web’s 30th Birthday, Early Users Recall What It Was Like to First Log On

Today we celebrate 30 years of the World Wide Web, the hypertext interface applied to the tubes of the Internet. Without it, we wouldn’t have streaming, social media, online shopping, endless comedy cat videos or the hourly tweets from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Yet it’s not an entirely happy birthday: Tim Berners-Lee, the British CERN engineer who’s 1989 proposal led to the creation of internet browsers and the dot-com revolution, has major concerns about the web’s development.

“While the web has created opportunity, given marginalized groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit,” Berners-Lee wrote to commemorate the anniversary.“

Despite this, one thing’s for sure: Life wouldn’t be the same without it. Moreover, web users have been sharing their memories of the early days on Twitter under the hashtag #Web30, and it’s a real throwback: