It occurred to me the other day that my kids don’t know the origins of the saying “dial a phone number.” They have never dialed. We recently bought an old fashioned phone at Target for Halloween. It says spooky things when you lift up the receiver. It’s a rotary phone, and my kids were completely baffled as to how that would work. They truly could not understand, and even after I showed them how to stick your finger in the numbered hole and spin, they said, “but how does it know the number?”
All they have ever known is pushing a button, and now that happens almost exclusively on a screen. We still have a land line with push button phones (at least they are wireless), but hardly ever use them. We rarely receive calls on that line, except for all of the endless CVS Pharmacy automated reminders and notifications. We all use our iPhones. My ten-year-old doesn’t have a cell phone, but she is very comfortable using mine.
So why aren’t I clamoring for the new iPhone 6? Isn’t the newest technology the best? Well, I am pretty sure my iPhone 5 does all the texting and calling I need. Of course I use Safari, but other than that, I am woefully under-educated on all its other features.
For example, my older daughter was using my phone the other day. I am not sure if she had forgotten hers somewhere or was on an enforced break from its possession. In any case, she informed me that I needed to refresh my apps. “What?” I said, “I don’t know what that means.” Insert thirteen-year-old eye roll and “OMG” here. She explained that having all these apps open really drains my battery. She shut them all down and showed me how to do it, but I honestly can’t remember to do that on a daily basis (or yearly for that matter).
She proceeded to tell me I had too many apps I didn’t use (like all the games she liked last year, but now considers lame.) So she started deleting apps. She got to the Flashlight app, and I said, “Wait, I like that app.” Imagine the middle school condescension as she informed me that you don’t need an app for that. There is a flashlight available on the phone by simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Really?? And the cool thing is that it stays on as long as you want.
She also commented that my most recently used emoji was a glass of wine. “How do you know that?” I questioned. “It’s on your most recently used list,” she replied. There’s a button for that?
Clearly I am not in need of new technology as I have barely scratched the surface of the technology I have. I will admit that my reading vision makes the super-sized iPhone 6 somewhat intriguing, but it won’t fit in the pocket of my running shorts, so it is of no use to me. I will stick with the 5. When I am old and gray, my grandkids will have some amazing new communication technology. I am saving this rotary phone and the iPhone 5 so that I can astound them with how things used to be.