Kev Quirk

When Was the Last Time Tech Blew Your Mind?

18 Nov 2023 | ~2 minute read

When was the last time you saw a piece of tech that left you utterly astonished?

Tech is great; it's one of the great loves of my life. It's constantly improving and there's always something new to learn, but when was the last time tech blew your mind?

The first time I sent an email was really cool. The performance and battery life of my M1 Mac was (is) very impressive; far better than any laptop I've ever had before. But I'm not talking about impressive. I'm talking about the kind of impression that makes you say, "holy shit, that's fucking incredible!"

For me, it was in the late 90s; somewhere around 1997, I think. My friend Andy and I were walking home from school. Back then pagers were relatively common, but not many people had a mobile phone, especially teenagers. Andy did.

On the way home, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and said "oh, I've got a message from my Mum." I was expecting him to put the phone to his ear and listen to a voicemail - that was nothing new, as answering machines had been around for years.

But he didn't. Instead, he started tapping the buttons on his phone. Confused, I asked him what he was doing and he said "I'm replying to my Mum." Even more confused now, I asked him what on earth he was talking about. So - with a decent amount of glee in his eyes, I might add - he showed me his phone, which looked something like this:

Sending a text on a 90s Nokia
Andy didn't wear nail varnish, I don't think...

I couldn't believe it. He was typing a text message, with his phone, which he then sent to his Mum and she could reply to it! My response was something like...

Holy fucking shit. You're sending her writing, and she can reply??? That's mental!

My mind was utterly blown. I've never been more astonished by a piece of technology in my life. For me, it was groundbreaking, I couldn't believe it. Right then and there, I knew I needed to get myself a phone.

Since then phones have improved dramatically, and we now take them for granted. But I still fondly remember the awe I had on that day, walking home with Andy. I think I'll always remember that day.

What about you? When was the last time tech blew your mind?

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