When Telephones were New technology

Last night at book group there was some discussion about Facebook. Some love it, some don’t get why anyone is on it, some are addicted to Farmville. Driving home I was thinking how this conversation was very representative of my generation, ‘girls’ in our mid-thirties to mid - forties. I can’t imagine young people discussing Facebook; they just use it; What’s there to discuss?

Then I got thinking about how it might have been for my grandparent’s generation in the sixties, when they got telephones for the first-time. Landlines that is, the kind of phones my children will look back on and say: ‘Did we really have a telephone attached to our house with a wire?’

I imagine dinner parties in the sixties - this is a stretch of imagination as I don't think dinner parties arrived in Kilkenny until the mid-seventies, earliest - where conversations might have been like this:

Oh I can’t stand those new telephones. They’re so noisy when the ring.

Oh but it’s wonderful, I can talk to my mother-in-law, when she’s not even in the same room!

Yes, but don’t you hate when people disturb you when they call during dinner?

Oh, I only let my husband answer it, as you never know who is on the other end of the line!

I think the operator sounds so helpful and polite, but I wonder does she eavesdrop?

I always recite my number when I answer; it’s good manners in my view.

Don’t you hate when you get the last digit wrong, and you have to start dialling the number all over again?

They say, everyone will have a phone in their home some day and you’ll be able to dial Australia without going through an operator! Can you imagine?! No, I can't! That's impossible.

Yes, we’ve come a long way. I really don’t now how I’d explain Facebook, Twitter and blogging to my grandparent’s were they still around. (Then that applies to most aspects of my life. You married a foreigner, who’s not a Catholic and you live where?) Makes me wonder what kind of technology my children’s children will have, that I won’t be able to get my head around.

I feel like an ole fogey already!


Simply-Mel said...

Incredible huh? The thing that still boggles my brain is that we apparentley went to the moon in the late sisties....why havent we been back? Instead we are apparently trying to blow it up now? Did you READ ABOUT THAT??!!!

Cairo Typ0 said...

I've read about the old party lines where virtually anyone could be listening to your conversation. *eek* It's amazing how far technology has come in the last decade or two.

Alan said...

''..some are addicted to Farmville''

Ah so it's not just Mrs Alan who is afflicted with this!...

I must be regressing, I'm actively not joining the Web 2.0 technologies...

JT said...

I have been having the FB convo a lot lately, too! I was a late convert, embraced it fully and became friends with people I was never really friends with in the first place, leveled out on Mafia Wars, and now have such a locked down profile I am not even sure my real life friends can see my profile. I consider quitting on a regular basis, but I just can't bring myself to do it!

ireneintheworld said...

Jo, I was in a pub in Glasgow last week, with a friend who was showing off his new toy; an iPod Touch, Oh my God. Grandparents the world over would be astounded at the tricks this thing can get up to. One app helps you find the nearest gay man! Honest. We tried it out, flicked through loads of pictures to see how far away they were, and there was one within yards of us and Criz suddenly anounced, 'He's in this building!'

JEDA said...

Here's the thing though. I remember being quite young when my mother went in for her first mammogram. It sounded it horrible. Medieval even. But I didn't sweat it much. I figured--I told everyone--there's no need to worry. By the time I'm approaching forty and it's time for me to be regularly examined for such things, they'll have come up with a kinder, gentler way to do it.

So given iPhone and Facebook and all that cool technological stuff...where's my painfree mammogram? It's getting awfully close to time to start worrying about it.

P.S. Farmville is my secret shame. I love the rice paddies....I can't stop planting rice paddies....

Sorcerer said...

''..some are addicted to Farmville''

haha..almost everyone..

well Iam a gamer by profession.so addiction is a career hazard thingy

barefootfiona said...

I love the dinner room scene. I can imagine a Monty Python sketch of it. John Cleese in a dress is always funny.