I’m one of those people who still constantly lives in awe of the crazy machines we all have in our pockets every day. I will genuinely just marvel at the same phone I’ve had for two years and think “How does all of this fit in one tiny little slab?”
It’s weird how quickly we get used to it. Every new innovation is amazing for about a week and then it’s just normal. But when you look back long enough and realize how those innovations have accumulated, the difference is stark and shocking. Reddit user AmJusAskin must have been in this same mindset when they took to r/AskReddit to ask:
You have 10 minutes to show someone from 1995 stuff on your phone to blow their mind as much as possible, what do you show them? from AskReddit
Thousands of people responded, with a lot of common themes popping up.
1. Keep in mind, it wouldn’t take too much.
The ability to backspace on the calculator would be enough for me in 1995.
2. Around that time, a Motorola flip phone was $1,000.
I had a pager in 1995.
I’d be impressed with just the phone and camera.
3. And any call from any phone was expensive if it was “long distance.”
I’d chat to someone in Canada to show them that I can call someone (through Skype or fb messenger) and it won’t cost me a penny!
4. Basic mechanics we now take for granted were once revolutionary.
In 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone the audience gasped when he showed you can scroll by sliding your finger on the screen and it comes to a smooth stop.
So that would be interesting…
5. Not to mention the truly amazing stuff.
Google street-view is something that’s pretty simple but would absolutely melt people’s minds back then.
Being able to see every street in a city across the planet? Incredible.
6. Gaming has come a long way, too.
Considering I’ve lived through every gameboy, “1995 Me” would be most blown away by the Nintendo Switch so I’d probably show them that.
7. There were no true “social media” sites in ’95.
Their future Facebook page.
8. Of course, if we’re time traveling, might as well profit.
Show him what bitcoin is…
Tell him to invest and meet me in 10 minutes.
9. Some things would look right out of Star Trek.
10. Even the mundane could be awesome.
The Dominos Pizza TrackerTM
11. And why not do some epic trolling?
I’d rickroll them.
Not only they will be shocked from seeing my smartphone playing high quality video with crisp audio, they’ll also realize years later on that they’ve been rickrolled.
12. No more language barriers
Google translate. Point it at a sign written in Spanish and watch it translate into English before their eyes.
The first time I used it I was at a Peruvian restaurant with my in-laws. We sat down and I saw that the menu was in Spanish. Not speaking Spanish, I remembered that I had Google Translate on my phone. I opened the app, chose Spanish, and pointed the camera at the menu expecting to take a photo of it and have it translated. Then I looked at the camera and realized that I did have an English menu after all because it was all in English.
But that didn’t seem right, so I looked at my menu again without my phone and, yes, still Spanish.
I went back and forth a couple of times before I realized it was translating in real-time.
The future punched me hard in the mouth that day, my friends. Very hard.
I remember when I first saw a portable TV. It was the size of a breadbox, needed like 8 huge batteries to run for an hour, and got terrible reception. It was incredible. I think in that moment a smart phone would have straight up given me a heart attack.
What would you show someone from ’95 to blow their mind?
Tell us in the comments.