Ever since the Internet became widely available to the general public, many people have been asking the same question: where did the Internet come from? Or rather, what prompted the Internet’s invention?
While some people suspect constant communication was the keep to prompting the internet, or rather constantly wanting to be able to reach others. Other people have suggested such things as wanting to shop online possibly. But my reasoning for why the internet got started is a bit more primal than online shopping or constant communication with friends or relatives. My theory? The porn industry.
Although some of may not want to think something as brilliant as the internet originated from such an idea as this, we have to look at the facts. According to Frederick Lane in Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in Cyber Age, “The industry has convincingly demonstrated that consumers are willing to shop online and are willing to use credit cards to make purchases. In the process, the porn industry has served as a model for a variety of online sales mechanisms, including monthly site fees, the provision of extensive free material as a lure to site visitors, and the concept of up selling (selling related services to people once they have joined a site). In myriad ways, large and small, the porn industry has blazed a commercial path that other industries are hastening to follow.”
As Frederick Lane says, even if we don’t like what the porn industry is up to now, it has been a huge way to advance our technology. From the “mature” films dating all the way back from the 1800s to being able to pay for it through credit cards. Bandwidth might also be porn’s greatest contribution to the internet because it allowed more material to move from images to video around the world at faster rates.