Let’s just see if we can agree on this right off the bat. Anyone born after, say, 1999 can pretty likely run circles around most of us with the average tech gadget.
In fact, if you’re looking for a fun experiment, sit your tween or teenager on the couch and recite the following list: encyclopedia, card catalog, floppy disk, mix tape, pager, VHS. You’ll probably get some fairly entertaining looks of utter confusion.
If you really stop to consider it, most teens don’t even understand an old-school expression like “dial the phone.” Because really, what does a dial have to do with a smartphone?
That’s exactly what one mother was probably thinking when she recently asked her son to call her using an old-fashioned rotary phone.
She captured the resulting chaos on video, and it’s getting some serious appreciation across social media.
He begins by hollering, “Where’s the zero?” So you know things will probably go straight downhill from there.
Next, he gives that weird round plastic thing a few random, half-hearted twirls. He then picks up the receiver, hoping his first attempt might have worked — but sadly, no dice.
Being a supportive parent, Mom tries to remain upbeat and encouraging through her hysterical laughter. “You were so close,” she manages to say, inviting him to try again.
This time, he applies more concentration. But for those of us who actually understand how these things work, it’s clear he’s still not giving that dial the full spin it needs.
“I messed up,” he admits, picking up that clunky receiver and plunking it back down. A few seconds later he picks it up and puts it down again, realizing his current approach is basically getting him nowhere.
By this time, Mom is laughing so hard it sounds like she’s ready to sob.
“Okay, so my kids have never used this kind of phone — I don’t even know if they’ve seen this kind of phone,” she helpfully narrates, although we’ve mostly figured that out by just watching.
Possibly the best moment arrives when her exasperated son whips out his own smartphone, and turns to Google for insight.
Because, you know, there probably aren’t any encyclopedias lying around the house that might explain things.
Those of us representing “older” generations just want teenagers to realize that we’re definitely not laughing AT you. Sure, we’re laughing in your general direction — but we’re also poking some good-natured fun at ourselves.
After all, today’s technology definitely makes our lives easier in all kinds of ways. But between apps and avatars and ever-changing algorithms, it can sometimes secretly make our heads spin.
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