Fifth Graders Predicted the Internet in 1995 — What Would They Say Today?
It’s fun to imagine how new technology will change the world, but very rarely are our wild and vivid predictions spot on. We’re still not traveling via hovercraft as Marty McFly suggested, and, thankfully, we don’t have thought police, as predicted by George Orwell in 1984 (although we do have Honey Boo Boo, so I guess it’s a wash).
But back in 1995, a group of fifth graders made a PSA about this new fad called “The Internet.” They made crazy predictions like, "the Internet will [soon become] our telephone, television, shopping center and workplace."
Haha -- that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever...WAIT A SECOND!
To those of us living in 2012, it may seem like the children in the video were making safe guesses; however, it was actually quite the opposite when you remember just how truly primitive the Internet was back in 1995. So primitive that this tutorial was released. You don’t need to watch more than a couple of minutes to get the point. It’s basically a 30-minute video discussing things that a five-year-old nowadays could do.
The Internet was something that had never been seen before. Ever. This wasn’t some new advancement of something we already had, like a bigger and better car; this was something entirely foreign to every single person in the world. The notion of, say, communicating with a stranger in a different time zone or ordering a pizza without even picking up the phone was just as outrageous as the idea of electricity way back when.
So, the eerie accuracy of this PSA’s predictions is incredibly impressive. I’d like to find these kids today, who are all approximately 27-28 years old, and ask them what they’d predict for the Internet 10 years from now. My guess is that it’d go something like this:
“You’re literally never going to leave your home ever! For anything!”
“You’re going to weigh 700 pounds!”
“You’re going to have social anxiety disorder!”
“Your best friend will be someone you’ve never even met in real life!”
“Google will tell you who your soul mate is!”
“Netflix and Pandora will make all of your decisions!”
Hopefully the future of the Internet will be slightly less grim than my predictions. But these kids pretty much nailed it for today’s Internet. Especially at the 0:36 mark.