If you see a graphic on the Internet that promises you’ll get a happy surprise if you just change the date on your iPhone to January 1st, 1970, do not fall for it. If you actually reset the date on your device and restart it, you will likely have a bricked iPhone.
Here is the graphic that’s being passed around by pranksters right now:
As you can see, it promises that you’ll see an incredibly cool retro Easter Egg if you change the date on your device to New Year’s Day of 1970. In reality, it will likely make your phone useless.
Why does this happen? One user in the /r/jailbreak community speculates the following:
In some time zones, setting the date to 1 Jan 1970 will set the internal clock to a number less than zero, as the time is stored in GMT (as the number of seconds since midnight on that date) and then the offset is applied before display. In other time zones, setting the clock will result in a positive time value. Best guess is that this is triggered by having the time value less than zero.
Even if you’re in a time zone where resetting the date to January 1, 1970 doesn’t brick your phone, it’s still not worth trying since there isn’t a secret cool Easter egg waiting for you no matter what. So just don’t do it.