World Wide Web predictions that never came true

The World Wide Web turn 25 years old

(WTVM) - It's hard to imagine our lives without it.

"I think I would be a lot more productive than I am normally, because it's pretty distracting, but it's definitely necessary," says avid Internet user, Rachel Battle.

The World Wide Web turned 25 years old Thursday, March 13, and to put a spin on its birthday, we put together a list of predictions about the web that never came to pass.

In 2004, Bill Gates said spam will be gone within two years. If you have an email address, you know this is not true. According to GreenView Data, 68 percent of our incoming emails were spam.

Next, in 1995 Newsweek predicted that no one would ever buy anything over the web. Many people at the time didn't think the Internet would give us any practical applications, and didn't think web-based retail would ever thrive without an in-store salesperson.

Now, just consider how many times you've shopped online in the last year at places like Amazon and iTunes.

"That is where I do a majority of my shopping on Amazon. It makes it a lot easier. It ships rights to your door, and its makes life a little easier," says Auburn alum Grant Stewart.

Lastly, a prediction by the Columbia Journalism Review in 1995 said the web would put an end to big brother. Some argued that the growing flow of online communication would make it impossible for governments and companies to control information.

Of course, the recent headlines about NSA's data mining program comes to mind, as well as the practice of companies like Facebook, Google, and other tech companies of routinely gathering and storing massive amounts of data about their users.

Overall, no one can imagine their lives without a daily dose of the Internet.

"I use it every day. I'm a marketing director for a medium size company so I use it to run our website, Facebook, our social media pages every day," says Stewart.

"Life would be a lot slower," says Battle. "News would travel a lot slower."

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