It was 30 years ago that web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee outlined his idea of the World Wide Web. Some say it is the single most important creation in the past 50 years. Berners-Lee wrote a piece recently, highlighting the positive, and some of the darker aspects, of the internet.
To celebrate this milestone, here are our birthday wishes, hopes and thank yous for the ‘Web’.
We thank you for connecting us to friends and family with wonderful websites that help us talk, laugh, console and bring happiness to people we love all across the globe. From sharing pictures, to birthday videos, to talking to someone when they are ill, you have genuinely changed the way we communicate globally.
We thank you for becoming a global university where people can learn all sorts of things, like the rules of football, making slime, and collecting recipes from anywhere on earth to tickle our tastebuds! We also wish that you will become a greater tool to bring education to children who may not be able to go to school but can study from home.
We thank you for spreading new medical cures so that more people around the world can be healed. However, we do hope that people will consult their own doctors as well, as there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to taking medicine.
We wish that there will be stronger checks to stop hatred of all kind. From recent killings in New Zealand to racism, and varied forms of hate speech, we wish that you would help us bring down borders instead of putting up more. We also wish that you will become a greater platform for voices that are not always heard (like women and marginalised communities). We hope they will be allowed to share their opinions without hate or the fear of being trolled or punished for it.
We wish that you will bring us news which is truthful and uncensored and not reports that and malicious or that will encourage old biases.
We wish that you will be a safe place for children without them being exposed to things that are beyond their understanding.
We wish that you will bring us more art, more books, and more music (with proper rights to the artists who create them) for us to be able to access the things that many may never physically get to see.
We wish that you become a driving force to help create a better climate for our children. You are a great way to create awareness of environmental issues, and there have been so many great online campaigns that have worked!
We wish that the information that we give you can be safe with you and not shared with others who may do us harm.
And our biggest thank you is for allowing the world to open up to us at our fingertips – whether it’s mapping our way to anywhere, helping us speak to each other through translation, keeping us healthy by tracking our fitness levels, and of course, online shopping!
Happy birthday! We look forward to a safer, peaceful world and we are confident you will be a big part of it!
Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.