When you think about how it has come to take over our lives, it's easy to forget that the Internet landscape as we know it today is quite a recent thing. This hilarious 1995 PSA hammers that point home, with some fifth graders from Montana predicting what the Internet will become by the time they're in college.
In 1995 the Internet was really new. Of course, by Internet I mostly mean the World Wide Web, launched just four years earlier in 1991. Sure, there was Usenet and a few other bulletin boards along with fledgling email services before that, but at the time these were strictly the domain of computer geeks. It wasn't until the Mosaic browser launched in 1993 that regular everyday folks started to go online, so just two years into things these kids were way ahead of the game. The first screen shot we see in the video is Netscape 1.1 showing the Yahoo! homepage, both of them brand new, red-hot properties in 1995. Even Google was still years down the road.
Remember too that in 1995 Internet connections were really slow. A 28.8 Kbit/s modem was considered a smoking fast connection, but that's about 1,000 times slower than a decent connection today. This meant that the Web was almost entirely made up of simple, slowly loading pages with still pictures. Video and audio would have to wait until things got much faster.
This is why it's so impressive that in a short video the kids predict services like Skype, YouTube and Amazon, along with the concept of telecommuting. Sure, they were reading from a script, but it still seems quite prescient.
Best of all, they realized that in the future everyone online would become obsessed with kitty cats. Cat food cupcakes anyone?
Today these kids are all around 27 years old, I wonder how many are working in IT?