1950s Video on How to Use the Phone Shows How Far We’ve Come
Phones aren't just simply phones anymore, so it's easy to forget there was a time when using them elicited looks of confusion that are reserved today for grandmas trying to get on to Google.
In this video from the 1950s, hanging around YouTube since 2011 and unearthed by AT&T, a delightful woman explains how to use a rotary phone. Not sure what a rotary phone is? Ask that grandma who's still trying to access Google.
The woman tutoring us here is like a schoolteacher patiently explaining a new technology that today is wholly obvious. "For incorrect dialing causes inconvenience and delay, not only to you, but to anyone you may have dialed in error," she reminds us. How true. She also discusses the difference between "O" and "zero" on the phone, the need to hear a dial tone (non-existent on today's omnipresent cell phones), how you should wait 10 rings before hanging up if no one answers (today, we usually curse people out for not answering a text in under a minute) and what a busy signal is (call waiting took care of that).
What this woman couldn't have envisioned is how phones would eventually become portable computers, caller ID would cause people to suspiciously call people back when they don't leave a message, how we'd ignore others at the dinner table because we check Twitter or how people would lose a sense of manners by chatting away on a train with no regard for the other people onboard.
We've certainly come a long way, right?