From the exclusive communication within a specific group on its early days, the internet has exploded globally and has connected millions from around the world.
But former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is convinced that digital connection has yet to reach its full potential, declaring on Tuesday that "the World Wide Web has yet to live up to its name."
In a visit to Israel this week, Mr Schmidt discussed the benefits and dangers of the digital revolution, the former he said provides empowerment to the average net surfers and the latter poised to bring personal tragedies on unsuspecting internet users.
While the introduction of full-feature desktop computers and later on, the mobile notebooks, had digitally made the world a bit smaller, Mr Schmidt, presently enjoying his role as Google chairman and one of the tech industry's most respected voices, lamented that internet's global reach is still limited.
Clearly, he added, the billions who are still fighting off poverty were being prevented to access the rich information and opportunities readily available on the net.
But he acknowledged that with the recent rise of mobile computing and the growing prevalence of mobile gadgets - smartphones and tablet computers - the gaping margin between the rich and poor was gradually seeing reduction in the past years, not a mean feat considering that the difference remained almost standstill in the past centuries.
"Technology does not produce miracles, but connectivity, even in modest amounts, changes lives," Mr Schmidt was reported by The Associated Press (AP) as saying on Tuesday as he stressed that breakthroughs in the past two decades alone have outpaced many of mankind's achievements from hundreds of years ago.
"All of us are blessed with a capacity for innovation ... and connectivity will help unlock that potential," said the Google executive, who is credited for presiding over years of growth in the internet giant prior to Larry Page's assumption last year as the firm's main man.
Mr Schmidt expressed optimism too that the estimated 2 billion people who currently enjoy access to the internet will grow further in the years ahead, with the proliferation of mobile computing gadgets, of which Google is directly responsible.
Google developed and released Android, the mobile platform that has so far outsold Apple's iOS, with devices running the operating system dominating the estimated one billion smartphones that have been activated so far.
Mr Schmidt, however, cautioned that with the positives attached with the internet also comes the negatives, foremost of which it's the creeping threat to privacy that all individuals are entitled to.
The infusion of social media sites on our daily lives may have allowed us expand our reach but they also exposed us to threats that are times were beyond our control, the Google chair said.
"If you upload a video of your young friend drunk without their permission, you may be ruining their life," Mr Schmidt reminded.
It only shows that the digital world can be cruel and unforgiving for clueless and reckless social networking fans, he added.
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