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People Break Down What They Would Search If Their Phone Could Look 5 Years In The Future

Rodion Kutsaev/Unsplash

They say if you had tomorrow’s newspaper, you’d be a rich man.

But what about a newspaper from a time far beyond tomorrow? Nothing crazy like the year 2080 or some science fiction-style scenario, but just a few years.

Perhaps you’d make some bets, plan for disaster, or even alter your value system.

Redditor beentothefuture recently prompted folks with a poll on the topic.

They asked:

“You can’t time travel, but your phone has the internet from 5 years in the future. What do you search for first?”

One person had three key concerns. 

“Lottery numbers -> stock prices -> my name.”

“You may ask why my name but it’s very simple as I then can learn if I died until then or got caught for some sh** and are still in prison.” — [deleted]

This Redditor went a bit deeper with their scheme.

“I would start a blog on my pc and then switch to my phone to check if it now has updates from the future. If so, my future self could talk to my present self.”

“I could read about my mistakes and try to avoid them. If a post disappears, that would mean that I did it right.” — thezubek

And this Redditor went even deeper than that.

“I would check my mails and message Apps to find out how I’m doing in the future.”

“If the phone continuously updates, so that it always show the internet of in five years. Then I would probably look for scientific breakthroughs like fusion and also for catastrophes. Then I would start writing messages to myself like a diary so I can see them in the present.”

“And also in 2025 I would start copying the messages from then in 5 years and send them to myself so I can see the messages of the next ~100 years assuming I live that long.” — Barti666

And here’s someone who just wants to twist the knife. 

“Nintendo Directs. Then I’ll make ‘predictions’ for a lot of things Nintendo will do, but I’ll phrase it in an increasingly implausible way. After a few Directs, people will hopefully catch on and start believing everything I say.”

“After five years (assuming I can’t look into the future again) I’ll start making random shit up and watch the internet argue about my predictions. Surely this can’t be real… but his track record is impeccable!” — TomAVulpis

This response harkened back to times this sort of thing was already considered. 

“I’d try to be like Bill Murrays character by the end of Ground Hog day. Find out if there’s any needless deaths from preventable accidents that I may be able to change.”

“Obviously I’d have won the lotto too, this would give me plenty of resources and free time to become a local superhero” — Meglamore

This person had one very specific thing on the mind.

“Besides the obvious (lottery, election, myself, etc) I would want to see if opera made a comeback after the pandemic or if the virus was the final nail in the coffin of this art form, which has been slowly headed towards its demise for decades now.” — IoSonCalaf

Another Redditor had a list. 

“queen elizabeth (if there were more searches available)”

“then probably see which countries still exist as they are now,”

“see how covid-19 played out”

“memes so I can make an accurate “this is a meme from the future”

“then see what are the biggest breakthroughs of science in the last 5 years, probably at least medicine and energy”

“also obviously lottery numbers or something” — uhrilahja

One person went full anthropologist.

“If I had unlimited searches I’d probably look up the Reddit frontpage first.”

“There’s a lot of information in there that would give a good general explanation about that timeperiod. And from there on I could search up anything that seems interesting while already having some context.” — juniperzz

Here we have a more personal outlook.

“Win the lotto but not enough to be super rich but enough to settle debts and get started. Also see if there are any major disasters I need to prepare for.”

“And check the obituaries to see if there are any family members I need to see more often/forgive” — neverstayhappy101

This Redditor took a more nuanced approach to “betting.”

“How long does it work for? If it is permanent, lottery numbers once or twice anymore and you would draw attention.then best tech developments and start ups to invest in.”

“Locate the brightest and smartest graduates to come and work for you and enough dirt on politicians to let you get away with what your planning.” — koorcevets

One person had entertainment on the brain. 

“Outcome of sporting events so I can place some bets.”

“Also, I’d look up if my favorite music artists were still alive so if they were to die I could warn them. Wish I could have done this with Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys” — TheA**OfSpock

Here we have an enterprising approach.

“The newest sience break throughs. So i can instead blow everyones minds with my genius” — aeris17471

This contribution was just bleak through and through. 

“End of the Covid pandemic…only to find news articles on the 76th lockdown in 2025, and people still going on about not wearing masks… Q_Q” — Protohype93

One Redditor was tired of broken promises. 

“Cure for type 1 diabetes. Doctors have been saying its five years away for awhile now.” — Surferbro

And plenty of people decided to have some fun with the prompt itself. 

“The internet still exists in five years, so that’s my first worry assuaged…” — welshualegon

“when a youtuber posts so i can truly be first” — Ap_Legendary11

“How many more John Wick films have been made.” — IAmJohnny5ive

“Well, I went to Reddit and found this post. Hello from 2015!” — Refloni

“I’d create a reddit thread asking what people would search for if they had access to internet 5 years ahead of time. Mind blown …” — BradSainty

So in case you thought the lottery idea is where this conversation begins and ends, think again.

People apparently have all sorts of things they can’t help but wonder about.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.