5 Facts about the Internet to fix awkward small talk with strangers

5 Facts about the Internet to fix awkward small talk with strangers

CultureAugust 13, 2018

He Went to Tinder
In the U.S., online dating accounts for over $2 billion in revenue streams for matchmaking sites, and has expanded by about 5 percent each year since 2010. If that weren’t enough of a sexual impact, Match.com now boasts that over 200,000 babies are born in the states each year because of their site, and soon enough, 1 in 10 high schoolers will be what they call “MatchMade kids” — children that only exist today because of the Internet.


FILL UP THE POT SUSAN!
The world’s first-ever webcam was developed by workers at the University of Cambridge in 1991 to monitor the office’s only coffee pot. It took three images a minute from a camera accessible by everyone to see if there was fresh brew available or if Susan from HR was a twat again and didn’t refill the carafe. A few years later, in 1993, the cam was connected to the web so everyone in the world could see, and stayed online that way until 2001.


Disconnected
According to the Pew Research Center, 11 percent of American adults don’t use the Internet. A third say they just don’t have any interest in it; another third say it’s too difficult to use (okay, dad); and the other percentage of non-users are too broke to carry their own devices/plans. Maybe unsurprisingly, most of the people who live the beautiful, comment-free life offline are old rural residents who make less than $30k a year.


Where U @?
The reason we use the @ symbol in email is really quite simple: some dude named Ray Tomlinson looked at a keyboard one fateful day and picked it from the other symbols that no one would use in their actual name. It was a way to separate who the message was to from what platform they’d be seeing it on. “It denoted where the user was ... at,” Tomlinson hilariously told WIRED in 2012.


Bot Bot Bots
We’re not alone. A recent report published by the security firm Imperva says that bots, both good and bad ones, account for over 52 percent of web traffic. Harmful bots — those that infect websites, steal data, post spam or pretend to be Trump voters when they’re actually just 14-year-old Russian kids with no hope for the future — account for 29 percent of that 52 percent. “For the past five years, every third website visitor was an attack bot,” wrote Igal Zeifman, Imperva’s marketing director in a blog post.

[cover photo via Shutterstock]