‘The time I out-teched my Techie daughter’
Boy, are my arms tired. I just flew back from the Coast; the Oregon Coast, that is, where I spent a most marvelous three days with two of the coolest women on the Planet, my Mom and my Favorite Sister Laura. (I’ve told her many times that she would be my Favorite Sister even if I had more than one sister, which I swear is the truth even though I can’t exactly test my theory.)
The reason she’s my fave — today’s reason anyway — is that she gave me the idea for this post. Which is about the time I out-teched the most tech-savvy person I know, a person in her mid-twenties who holds a seriously important job at a company so techalicious that I have absolutely no idea what it is they do. It is called Kensho, and you can, if so inclined, read about it here. My brain, as well as my arms, is way too tired to try to ‘splain it to you.
The Person in Question is, of course, The Child.
I had just finished showing my Mom how to back up her iPhone and her iPad and we all got to talking tech. (Yes, my Mom is totally tech-savvy. She emails and googles and texts as well as I do. And she’s way ahead of me with emoji. She even has an avatar. Heck, I don’t even have an avatar. Maybe I should get her to make me one.)
Anyway, we three are talking tech, specifically about the new iPhone — which, as you know, costs about a jillion dollars and does everything except dance and sing — when Laura goes ‘Hey, remember that time you tried to show The Child how to work the dial phone?’ (Except she used The Child’s real name.)
Well yes, I did remember. I had read somewhere that it’s a good idea to keep a regular land-line phone around the house in case some disaster happens involving power outages, since cellphones or even those cordless non-cell phones can run ‘dry’ with no electricity. You just plug your trusty landline model into your phone jack and you’re good to go. At least till the food all runs out and the rioting starts in the streets. (Oops, that last part is going to be in a post about Doomsday Dude.)
I’d saved this old Princess Phone just for Disaster Duty. Remember Princess Phones? They were pretty slick-looking — and considered rather cutting edge back in the days when to ‘swipe’ meant to steal your sister’s chocolate bunny and a ‘software upgrade’ meant you got a new puppy.
So I haul out Miss Phone and hand it to The Child. She looks a tad confused and asks ‘But how do you use it?’ Which is when I realize that she has never seen a dial phone before. Why, even in the picture at the top of this post, when she is a mere toddler, The Child is holding a touch-tone phone. Ancient, large, and with an antenna, but touch-tone nonetheless. Touch-tone is just a ‘touch’ away from touch-screen. But dialing? Well, that’s a different, unknown, story. At least to The Child.
I take the Princess Phone from her and demonstrate. ‘See? You put your finger in one of these holes with a number in it — and rotate the dial. Like so!’
Well. Try as she might, The Child just cannot do it. She sticks a finger in a hole to get at the number, then pulls it out. She tries to rotate, but her finger sort of wimps out and she lets go too soon. She even tries using a pencil (yes, she knew what a ‘pencil’ was) when I tell her that manicured ladies of my acquaintance dialed that way to save their nails. No dice; no dialing.
Oh well. I guess there will always be things that Mother Knows Best. Even if it’s only dialing a phone.
New York City. October 2017