As young as the internet is, some terms we’ve used to talk about the technology have already become archaic. Think about it: no one wastes their time “surfing” the Web anymore. These days, when we open our laptops, we already know what we’re looking for. The domain extension “.com,” which once seemed limitless, has become saturated. As a result, other extensions such as “.ly” have gained traction. As touch screens become more prevalent on the devices we use to connect to the internet, “clicking” may soon become obsolete. The prefix “www” is also disappearing from the Web lexicon as high-profile sites like Twitter drop it from URLs appearing on their sites.
The internet has also appropriated words from everyday life. For example, a “stream” no longer make us think of a brook; rather it brings to mind the trickle of media data available on the likes of Spotify and Hulu. “Piracy” no longer conjures seafaring men wearing eye patches and hooks for hands; instead the word makes us think of those who download software, movies, or music without paying for it. A “thread” will no longer primarily be used to refer to seams and sewing; from now on, “thread” will first denote a string of comments in an online conversation. In the near future, the word “tablet” will increasingly be used to refer not to slabs of stone or a pill we take in the morning but rather a small, portable electronic device that, when it comes to accomplishing tasks online, serves as a step up from our mobile phones.
In the future, the technology lexicon will continue to grow. “Glassed-up” will refer to anyone so absorbed in a Google Glass device that he fails to notice anything outside the world of apps, data, and loading screens. “Anti-social” will no longer refer just to those who don’t like to interact with others out in the world; it will describe social media recluses, too. And “print” will one day refer solely to 3D printing – or so we hope.
What other words, new or outdated, can you think of to describe the technology we use today?