I was chatting at work with my supervisor when the subject of rotary phones came up. She (26 yrs old) admitted she didn’t know how to use one, which suprised me (32 yrs old). She said the reason she didn’t know is because it was an “obsolete technology”. How many of you under 35 yrs of age know how to use a rotary phone? Also, no matter how old you are, do you currently use a rotary phone?
Hmm…sounds like an idiot…I mean, if she had to make a call, my guess is it wouldn’t take hours to figure it out.
Then again, I am no spring chicken but would be hard-pressed to use a slide-rule today (assuming you know what that is). And I used to teach WordPerfect, but again, would probably have some serious problems using that as well now. I used to be able to read (but not write) a bit of shorthand, but couldn’t cipher anything today. Like many things - if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Still - our neighbor’s dog once dialled 911 by accident when they were at work. I have to assume that a 26 year old would figure it out eventually.
I haven’t used a rotary phone in 25 years, but it isn’t hard to figure out. Back when they were common, people used to learn how as children. It may be obsolete technology, but it always seemed to be intuitive.
I can use one! I’m only 21! You’d think someone would pay me for this skill, but nope…
(We had a rotary phone when I was rather young, and my parents refused to get anything else for a very long time)
Frankly anyone who can’t figure out how a rotary phone works in about 30 seconds in a moron.
Knowing how to make a toll call when a phone lock is installed takes brains OTOH.
Well, you could teach those old codgers of 26 how to use one…maybe offer a 12 hour class at the local university:
“Rotary 101: Learn how to use digital equipment using your digital finger.” $240 for six two-hour lessons.
See, the problem is, those 26 year old kids are slackers…I was lucky enough to be just a bit younger and miss the slacker genes…
That sounds like a plan. I’m heading to the university for class today, and I may just mention it (I don’t know that that will get me anywhere, but I’ll mention it to someone)
I figured out how to use a rotary phone when I was two. Is this woman a complete dill? Has she never seen an old movie to guide her, given that she sounds dumber than I was as an infant.
I had one until 2000 or so (it came with the apartment), so yeah.
I still have a few Western Electric rotary beasts in my house. God Bless America. Most of the time, though, I use a cordless phone.
I’m 30 and we had a rotary-dial phone until less than 10 years ago. How on earth could anyone not figure out how to use it? It’s not like there’s any complicated steps, just dial instead of pressing a button. Duh.
I’m twenty-two and I know how to use one. On top of having used a real one, I used to have a really awesome toy rotary phone. Instead of hearing clicks for each number dialed, you heard a different Care-bear giving you some saccharine sweet message. But yeah, rotary phones, not a problem.
I just explained to MilliCal two days ago how to use one. She’d never seen one in use before, and she’s 10 today.
It is not rocket science. It is no different than touch tone phones other than you put your finger in the hole and turn the dial.
I am old enough that we had a rotary phone as a child. I sort of missed it until one time I was visiting my ex and he had gotten an old rotary desk phone from his aunt and he plugged it in the livingroom.
It sort of hurt my finger trying to dial that old thing.
You want a sore finger? Try phoning to book Glastonbury tickets on a rotary phone with no redial facility! Eleven digits times god-knows-how-many engaged tones… oh the pain!
beeep beeep beeep beeep
I’m 27 and I know how to use a rotary phone. Up until maybe 10 years ago, the main house phone was the rotary one. Heck, I think the phone in my parents bedroom is still an old rotary. My Mom hates new technology, and my Dad is always buying the latest gizmos.
I lie about having a rotary phone when I call banks and other places that give the option to bypass the myriad of menus and speak to a human if you have a rotary phone. It’s not a complete lie…I think there’s still one stored down in the basement. And I know how to use it. I can also use a manual typewriter. But the slide rule and the abacus I’d have to relearn.
I remember trying to make the rotary phone dial faster by forcing the dial back to the start position and then dialing the next number, then forcing it back, etc… I thought this saved time but I probably only strained the mechanism inside the phone. Man, that thing took, like, forever to spring back by itself.
My mother still has a rotary phone. I don’t think I consistently used a touch-tone phone until college.
ETA: I’m 31.
My dad had a rotary phone rented from the telco, until about five years ago, when he finally rang them to ask for a replacement.
“Good morning. I was wondering if you could update my handset please? I can’t use it for any of this newfangled telephone banking et cetera.”
“I’m sorry, sir. We can’t replace it unless it is faulty.”
“OK, so what if I drop it six feet onto concrete?”
“Uh… then we’d replace it for you, sir.”
“Thank you very much.”