Young kids totally confused as grandma explains rotary dial phone

4 years ago

Bella and Josiah have a very wise and incredibly patient Grandma. When they came to visit her a few days ago, Grandma took them to a flea market where they encountered a relic from the past. Grandma explained that this was a rotary dial telephone and that people once made phone calls on it. The kids were completely incredulous and had a hard time seeing the link between this ancient piece of hardware and the telephones of today. Bella and Josiah are roughly ten years of age, which means that they have never been familiar with anything that isn't a smart phone or a cordless house phone with push buttons and an illuminated screen. Most people under the age of 40 would be familiar with one of these dinosaurs.

Grandma asked them to dial a number that starts with 7 but they were completely dumbfounded. Bella turned the dial but couldn't understand that there was a finger hole for 7. Grandma pointed the 7 out and Bella tried repeatedly pushing the number 7 as if it were a button. She still couldn't grasp the concept. The whole time she struggled, her brother, Josiah was itching to try.

Grandma was obviously enjoying the moment and was giving them the opportunity to solve the mystery on their own. She let Josiah try. He was quick to find the hole at the 7 and to spin the dial clockwise. He became confused, however, when his finger stopped moving at the metal hook. Adorably, he tries to pull out his finger and spin the dial further. He even holds the dial still, thoroughly confused about what comes next.

This rotary dial is as foreign to these young kids as a smart phone or tablet would have been to us at that age. Imagine if you were told 40 or 50 years ago that people, and even children, would have a small piece of glass and metal that would allow you to call or message text around the world in mere seconds. Imagine if you were told that this piece of glass would also take pictures, transmit them, send typed letters in email form, and that you could use it to pinpoint exactly where you are by GPS. Imagine being told that you could play movies and music on it, and that you could even do your shopping and order a taxi. We would have believed that all of this was science fiction. These kids are in a similar situation, only in reverse.

Watching these kids being confused by outdated technology is funny and endearing, but it also shows us how much our world has changed in our lifetime. Imagine the modern things that we have now will soon be obsolete and confusing to the next generations. Some day we will watch children being equally baffled by a laptop computer or iPhone 8.

This amazing Grandma isn't merely having fun with her grand kids. She's actually conducting a very effective history lesson.

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