Lifestyle & Human Interest

Parents Record Confused Teens Attempting To Use Rotary Phone for First Time


In a hilarious video clip, two teenage boys from Illinois attempted to use a rotary telephone for the first time.

Depending on when you were born, you learned to embrace the technology of your generation.

For older folks, it means rotary phones were a household standard and cordless phones were a luxury.

Nowadays, it’s all about the smartphone, which younger folks embrace with ease.

When Kevin Bumstead, from Chicago, first glimpsed a video of young people meeting old technology, he was amused.

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Bumstead decided to round up an old rotary phone and see if his children, nieces and nephews could figure out how to use it.

Bumstead paired up the cousins by age, ranging from their 20s to as young as 12. He gave each set of cousins four minutes to try and dial a phone number using a rotary phone.

Bumstead posted a video of 17-year-old cousins Jake and Kyle Bumstead trying to complete the task.

“My money was on them not figuring it out,” Bumstead told KXAS-TV.

Try as they might, the good-natured teens could not figure out how to dial the number. Neither had used a rotary phone before, and while they came close to figuring it out, they eventually lost to the clock.

“What’s with all the holes?” Kyle Bumstead said, examining the ancient relic.

The teens weren’t sure what to do with the receiver and kept hanging up on themselves, adding to the video’s comedic gold.

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“Put the phone to your ear. What do you hear?” a voice off camera said. “What does it sound like?”

“Doooooooo,” Jake said, mimicking the dial tone.

The video has exploded in popularity, with viewers loving how the teens interacted with the old technology.

Viewers young and old can relate to the feeling of cluelessness when it comes to using something new — even when the something new is over 100 years old.

Jake and Kyle don’t take themselves too seriously, and seem to be taking their captain caveman moment in stride.

“They’re really enjoying their 15 seconds of fame,” Bumstead said. “Even though they kinda look like goofballs, they’re enjoying it.”

Bumstead said the cousin pair who surprised him the most were aged 14 and 12 — because the girls had played with toy rotary phones when they were young, they dialed the number with ease.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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