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Social Media Has Ruined Internet Independence

Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These five services are the most visited websites on the internet, gaining a combined total of hundreds of billions of users every month (Similar Web, 2022). As of 2021, over 50% of all internet traffic only goes to only six different companies (Marwaha, 2022). This means most internet users only used websites controlled by these six companies on a day-to-day basis. For example, when looking at the top 5 websites by monthly visits, they are only owned by three different companies.

What Was The Purpose Of The Internet?

According to (CERN, 2022), who were the original creators of the World Wide Web;

“The basic idea of the WWW was to merge the evolving technologies of computers, data networks and hypertext into a powerful and easy to use conv information system.”

A “Global Infomation System.” That was the original purpose of the internet. At first, they accomplished this by creating a network for universities to share information. Then, a new internet era came around, allowing anyone to connect to it and look up news and information. This was called Web1.0. Web 1.0 still accomplished CERN’s original goal by allowing anyone to access it and learn information. But, this had one downside, it didn’t let the users contribute. If you wanted to post information onto the internet, you would have to program and deploy your own website. To fix this, they introduced Web2.0. This is the internet that we are using now. CERN tried to accomplish the same goal by allowing people to interact with the website they use. For example, liking, and commenting. In theory, doing this would have let the everyday person chime in and add to a conversation. In my opinion, while this was originally intended for people who had smaller, personal sites to be able to let their audience interact and give feedback; it ended up causing big social media companies to take over the web.

The Internet Takeover

With the rise of Web2.0, a new business model began to become more popular. Companies started to have the idea of creating services that allowed people to interact with other people in one place instead of having to go to dozens of different websites. While services like email and instant messaging did exist before the term web2.0 was coined, the modern form of these websites started around 2004. This was the start of social media.

The Rise Of Social Media

Instead of people having to create their own websites, they could set up social media profiles. While doing this had the trade-off of not allowing you to have a fully customised experience, it let the average person at least be known and potentially gave them a big following on the internet. As time went on, these sites started becoming more and more popular. This went on until only 6 companies controlled over half of all internet webpage visits. We can see this change in a video made by Visual Capitalist. In this video, we can see that the top 10 most popular websites from 1995 were search engines and information sites. Compared to today, only half of the top sites are search engines and information sites, with the rest being social media (Eagle, 2022). This shows that over the past 27 years, there has been a 50% decrease in sites that were used for helping people find those independent web pages. Instead, more and more of the most popular sites are big, social media services.

Why Independent Webpages Are Better Then A Social Media Profile

If you were to google your name and look at the top ten results, what do you think those results will be? I am willing to bet that at least one of those results will be from social media sites. If in the future, an employer was trying to pick between two candidates, one with a social media presence, and one with a personal website, research shows that 56% of hiring managers are more impressed if someone has their own personal website compared to not having one (Smith, 2013). Along with having a higher chance of being hired, having a webpage that you can fully customise will further show your creativity, personality, and skills. This not only will show your skills to future employers but will also lead you to have a place to post anything you want without having to go through a middleman like a social media site.

How To Make Your Own Website

There are many ways to make your own website. Whatever you do depends on your skill level (or willingness to learn) or how simple/complex you want to be. Personally, I use the static site generator HUGO and deploy it through a VPS. While this did take a lot of learning and experimenting, I think this is one of the best ways of doing it because you learn about servers, website generators, etc. You would of course use a more simple site generated like Squarespace or Wix, but these would be more expensive than programming and deploying it yourself.


To conclude, as time goes on, even though more websites are being made by the day, the web just getting smaller and smaller because of the big social media sites. With only 6 companies being responsible for over half of all internet webpage visits, it is clear that the days of the internet being a way for just a regular person to have a presence without the need for a big company are over. With the internet being condensed down to just a few sites, the ability for people to express themselves and to have their own voice is over. To combat this, it is crucial that more people start making their own sites and web presence away from these big conglomerates.


CERN. (2022, November 3). A short history of the Web. Retrieved from https://home.cern/science/computing/birth-web/short-history-web Eagle, J. (2022, September 12). Animation: The Most Popular Websites by Web Traffic (1993-2022). Retrieved from https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cp/most-popular-websites-by-web-traffic/ Marwaha, S. C. S. O. (2022, May 4). Telco Business Models Reaching ‘Tipping Point’ in Digital Era. Retrieved from https://www.sandvine.com/blog/telco-business-models-reaching-tipping-point-in-digital-era Similar Web. (2022, October). Similar Web. Retrieved November 20, 2022, from https://www.similarweb.com/top-websites/ Smith, J. (2013, April 26). Why Every Job Seeker Should Have a Personal Website, And What It Should Include. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/26/why-every-job-seeker-should-have-a-personal-website-and-what-it-should-include/?sh=894c9cb119e1