What Is That Contraption?

phone

My son came home today and told me that he left his folder on his teacher’s desk. When I asked him where exactly he placed it he said, “By that thing with the cord on it. My teacher picks it up like this, (he acted it out) and talks to people.” He knows what a cell phone is and even a cordless phone, but he could not come up with a name for that corded contraption. “A phone?”

I’m not making fun of my son, but it is funny how we have gotten to the point where that type of phone is seen as a foreign object. It reminds me of when people talk to me about eight-track tapes. I’ve never seen one in person and I probably wouldn’t know what it was if I did.

As children, my siblings and I all shared an Atari. When we first got that game station, we couldn’t believe what it could do. I’m sure we felt like the coolest kids in our neighborhood. That was the big thing back then. Mention an Atari now and most young people would have no clue what you just said to them.

Give it time and just about everything we use will be obsolete. This web page that you are looking at right now is proof of that. When is the last time you picked up a physical paperback book to read? Or wrote a journal entry with a pencil or received a letter in the mail?

Times are changing. I wonder what will be considered as an antique when we’re 90 years old.

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34 Responses to What Is That Contraption?

  1. I still use pen and paper to write first. It just flows better for me. But I know what you mean. I love talking to my own kids or school kids about the days gone by when ‘we didn’t have…’ .They just can’t imagine life without technology and I suppose we’re all getting the same. Love my wee laptop. πŸ™‚ x

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s good to hear that the pen and paper are still being used. I do too. I love journals and use them often. You’re right about technology and kids. Not having all those gadgets is unheard of for them.

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  2. DailyMusings says:

    This made me laugh. I still say I need to “dial” when making a call- oh those old rotary phones!

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  3. This is showing my age but I can still remember operator connected calls. We just picked up the ear piece and the operator who knew us all by name would ask who we wanted to speak to and she would then connect you up and no doubt listen in as well. Everything has changed yet I see it as an extension of a change rather than so totally different. My grandmother I think saw real change – walking or horse and carriage to man landing on the moon. I loved your piece. It really got me thinking of all the things that have become obsolete as we move on at a very rapid rate. πŸ™‚

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    • mewhoami says:

      Back then, I would imagine that making and receiving a phone call would be very exciting. Phones have a come a long way since then. I remember the party line, but even that was in the 80s. The changes your grandmother saw were very significant. I can’t imagine going from horse drawn carriage to watching people speed down the street in cars.

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  4. April says:

    I watched a documentary on Henry Ford last night. There was more to that guy than I realized. Anyway, his contraption sparked a new way of life–assembly lines, large cities. He built a village away from the hustle and bustle of urban living, moving historical buildings to a place called Greenfield Village. That is where he spent most of his time……..anyway, very interesting lesson on a man who had a big impact on modern day life. We’ve come a long way from the carriage. I’m looking forward to the flying cars. I know it would be a nightmare with little “vehicles” zipping through the air willy nilly, but how fun – oh wait – that would mean flying. Never mind.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You’ve gotten my interest. I may have to go watch that now. I love documentaries. There is always so much to learn. That one sounds very informative. Wow, the flying car. I remember that being a big thing when I was a kid. I would have thought it would have been out by now. Maybe with the right kind of car, you could overcome your fear of flying.

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  5. grannyK says:

    I still prefer to buy and read actual real books!

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  6. stormy1812 says:

    You know…I’m an oddball lol. I enjoy technology but I certainly still have a love of those things you listed there at the end and so I will still send letters to my friends who are moms for Mom’s Day or whatever. I have previously kept a paper journal also and will need to go back to one as my homework if you will lol, but I don’t mind one bit. I love that stuff. I hope it never fully goes away – it probably will but I can hope. πŸ™‚ Technology is great but it just doesn’t have the same sense of real about it.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Your reply makes me want to write a letter and send it. Going to the mailbox used to be so much fun. Now it’s just full of junk and bills. It would be a sad day if journals went away. Those are a person’s lifeline at times. I agree with you, technology is great, but nothing compares to real thing.

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      • stormy1812 says:

        Do it! I’ll tell ya – as much as people say they don’t care about that, when I’ve sent actual letters and not just cards even, people love it. I’ve received a lot of great response to it especially when it’s not known that they’ll be get ting something. It’s a very nice surprise πŸ™‚

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  7. I do still use paper and pen, when I create too. I sent my last handwritten letter two days ago, so maybe I’m a little old minded too.
    I appreciate all new technology, I have and I use it. Books I like to have in my hands, but okay it is also possible to read them online. The books I use are often creative books for all kind of handwork, and they are physical books.
    Thanks for sharing,

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    • mewhoami says:

      Two days ago? That’s wonderful. There’s nothing more fun than getting a handwritten letter in the mail. It’s good to hear that you’re keeping the tradition going. It’s good to hear that you still enjoy real books too. Hopefully that will mean that they will stay around a bit longer. It would be a strange world with no books.

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  8. I’m hoping some of those things that are ‘old will be new again’. πŸ™‚ But we do make things obsolete in this too fast paced world, too quickly.

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  9. Jenni says:

    I know exactly how you feel – if you want a laugh check out one of my earlier weekend funnies – it still makes me giggle about tech. http://jenniferann1970.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/the-age-of-the-app/

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  10. Glynis Jolly says:

    I have one corded phone in my house but in addition, there are three other cordless phones. The three are a set though. And why so many phone for a small 3 bedroom house? We’re American, which means we run for the phone no matter what we’re doing at the time. In the US, the phone rules everyone.

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    • mewhoami says:

      That is a lot of phones! They are our leashes aren’t they? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a no-phone, no-electronic device day every now and then? I wonder how many people could manage a whole day without their go-to devices.

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  11. suzjones says:

    Did you know Ataris are making a comeback. My GG was given one for Christmas. It plugs into the tv and plays all the old games. We had so much fun one night playing Space Invaders. πŸ™‚

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  12. We had an Atari, found it in the attic a few years ago! I remember that my dad wrote (created) a game for me – the multiplication tables, and I couldn’t play Pong until I did my math!

    Of course, his truck did have an 8 track player… and then we got a cassette adapter so we could play cassette tapes in his 8 track player! πŸ˜€

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    • mewhoami says:

      Oh wow. What a neat thing to find after all these years. Your Dad sounds like a good father to have. Work then play. I never thought of multiplication tables as a game before though, but if it got you to do them then a game it shall be. Maybe I should make up games like that for my son. πŸ™‚

      I’ve never heard of that type of adapter. Smart move for them back then. I don’t remember anything before the cassette.

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