Who Invented The Word Cyberspace? What Does It Mean?

The advancement of technology is undeniably overgrowing in the past few years. Until today, technology is continually improving, and one of the most significant inventions is the internet. The creation of the internet simplifies several tasks, which dramatically helps our modern, fast-paced world.With the help of the internet, we created several connections in different parts of the globe, mainly with the use of various social media applications and platforms. Studies show that roughly 50% of the world population is using the internet.

Along with the advancement of technology is the creation of different terminologies associated with a particular device or machine. One word that gained recognition through the advancement of technology is “cyberspace,” which we sometimes hear today in the age of computers, and is often related to the internet.

However, the word cyberspace does not have an exact definition and may sometimes confuse readers or listeners. One factor for this is its origins, which is somehow different from the way people use this word today.

How exactly did this word start, and who invented it? Furthermore, what is the history of the term cyberspace?

We often hear or see the word cyberspace, and it might seem normal. Every time we come across this word, it is usually related to the internet or something in the virtual reality. Some people say that cyberspace is anything present on the internet, wherein they have their virtual world or space,

In this article, let us look into the deeper meaning of the word – cyberspace, as well as its origin.

The History of the Word Cyberspace

We can trace the origins of the word cyberspace to the late 1960s, decades before the creation of the World Wide Web. During this time, a Danish artist named Susanne Ussing and her partner Carsten Hoff established the name Atelier Cyberspace. They created this title for themselves, where they used it while making installations and images based on the principle of open systems adaptable to various influences.

Despite its name, the creators of Atelier Cyberspace clarified that it has nothing to do with virtual space since, as mentioned earlier, the internet did not yet exist during that time. Furthermore, it was just a physical tool for managing spaces, nothing to do with any digital devices.

Years later, the term cyberspace came to use in the 1980s in the work of the cyberpunk science fiction author William Gibson. The fictional work of Gibson includes a short story in 1982 entitled “Burning Chrome,” and a novel in 1984 called “Neuromancer.” In his novel Neuromancer, the term cyberspace appeared, which showed the way how the humans’ disembodied consciousness was jacked or projected into Earth’s computer matrix and then roamed wherever they pleased. Even for Gibson, the meaning of the word cyberspace has nothing to do with the internet, and it merely compared the lifestyle of the humans here on Earth.

Fast forward to the 1990s, when the term cyberspace is gradually gaining recognition as a de facto synonym for the internet or the World Wide Web. We can attribute its popularization to the author, Bruce Sterling. However, Sterling stated that John Perry Barlow should also receive credits since he is the first person to use cyberspace – referring to “the present-day nexus of computer and telecommunications networks” in June 1990. At the end of the 90s, the use of the word cyberspace drastically increased along with widespread of the internet.

Moreover, cyberspace does not have any physical nor virtual space in our modern world, and it should not be confused with the internet. The use of the term cyberspace is more of a metaphor, wherein a specific website exists in cyberspace. Furthermore, this interpretation shows that anything that occurs online, on the internet, or a website is not happening in the physical world – thus, it is on cyberspace.

The origins of the cyberspace show how sophisticated our modern technology is. Despite the unclear definition of cyberspace, we still have a brief idea of its meaning, wherein we also use it in everyday practices. Furthermore, no matter how or when it started, we can say that cyberspace has a remarkable impact on our world today.