CNN.com has a series of articles on the consequences of the Internet on modern life. Snippets:
In 1994, people had to call the bank to check their balances. Or inquire in person, or wait for a paper statement to arrive in the mail. Baseball box scores were found in the newspaper. Weather forecasts came over the phone from the weather bureau, or on TV.
Back then, most Americans still had to lick a stamp to send mail.
Then along came the Internet, and an experimental browser called Mosaic, followed by an improved browser from Netscape. And if you had a computer, you discovered a new way to this cool, new thing called the World Wide Web. Mosaic and Netscape were the first popular connection to what came to be called the information superhighway.
According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, less than one in five Americans were online in 1995. Today, the majority of Americans are surfing the Web, exchanging e-mail, reading bank statements and ball scores, checking the weather. Today, Pew says, two out of every three Americans spend time online.
The World Wide Web has transformed the way people live, work and play. People can play travel agent and book all the elements of a vacation online. They can arrange for their bills to be paid automatically while they are gone. They can put a hold on mail delivery, find directions to tourist attractions and get a long-term weather forecast before they pack.
Even on vacation, they can log onto the Web to keep up with news from their hometown paper or TV station, and stay connected with friends and family. In its first decade, the Internet altered the pace of popular culture. It made distance less daunting, rendered information instantly accessible and revolutionized communication.