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What Is the Internet?

You won't find the Internet on any map. You can't touch it. You can't see it, except on a computer. When you turn off the computer, the Internet disappears. Or does it?

The Internet and Email

The Internet and Email Have you ever thought about how much information is on the Internet? On any given day there are approximately 100 million active Internet domains. If you went to 5,000 different domains every day, it would take you 50 years to look at that many domains. Not to discourage you, but it would be impossible to do this because every day new domains are added while other domains are deleted.

The Internet exists in a place that some people call cyberspace. This is a term invented by a writer named William Gibson and it refers to the electronic world of computer networks, where computers communicate or talk with each other.

The Internet and Email

The Internet is always there in cyberspace, ready for us to connect with it when we turn on our computers. The Internet is where we send emails, find information that helps us with our homework, or play games.

William Gibson William Gibson published a novel in 1984 titled Neuromancer. This book contains the first mention of the term cyberspace, a word he made up. Gibson has been called a writer of science fiction, telling stories about how science has changed our lives and could change the future.

Do You Know What These Terms Mean?
Term What Does It Mean? Additional Information
blog A blog is a Web log, or journal entry, that a person posts on a Web page. Blogs are places where people share their thoughts and opinions. Just because you find something on a blog doesn't mean it's accurate.
handle A handle is your screen name for online chatting. Since anyone can create a handle and chat online, it's best to chat with friends you know and not strangers.
netiquette Netiquette is etiquette, or manners, for the Internet. As with the phone, it is important to use good manners when you send emails or are part of online chats.
spam Spam is junk email and junk postings on message boards. Sending spam is very poor netiquette.
spoofing Spoofing refers to faking, or hiding, your identity on the Internet. Spoofing is deceptive and is very poor netiquette.
wiki Wikis are websites where users can update information. Wikipedia is an example of a wiki. If you are doing research, you should always verify information you get from a wiki with other resources.

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsThe Internet and Email