Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Evolution of the Telephone

This is what our household telephone looked like when I was a kid.....

But technology evolved and soon we got a wall telephone and the annoying rotary dial was replaced with buttons that made sounds when you pushed them.....

Then came the cordless phone which provided greater convenience as you could talk while walking around the house.....

Not that the cordless phone has made a great difference to the more senior people that I've observed. Even now when the phone rings, I've noticed how members of the older generation still carry the phone over to the "phone table" before answering?!?!

Then about 5 years ago, one of my trendier aunties bought herself a mobile phone like the one below.....

As you can see, it was a basic, compact handset that allowed her to talk and send SMS. Although it did take her a couple of months to get proficient at sending text messages. The dictionary function was a tad confusing to use at first.

Finally convinced she was as technologically advanced as any youngster, my auntie recently upgraded to a new mobile phone with a camera and various applications.....

On one occasion she rang me (from her "phone table", I assume) and the following chain of events ensued.....

Auntie: "Minny, I've just taken some nice pictures of your cousins and our new house. I'll show them to you the next time you come down to visit."

Me: "Why don't you just send the pictures to my phone and I'll have a look?"

Auntie: "How do I do that?"

Me: "Just send them, like when you send me a text message."

Auntie: "I'm not doing that. I want to keep these pictures on my phone so I can look at them later."

Me: "You wont lose them. Sending an MMS just means you'll be sending me a copy of the photos."

Auntie: "But when I send an SMS, that doesn't stay on my phone."

Me: "That's because you didn't save the message first."

Auntie: "Well, how about this.....why don't I send the pictures to you, you can have a look, and then you can send them back to me?"

Me: *sigh* "Auntie, there's no need. The pictures will stay on your phone."

Auntie: "I'm not sending the pictures unless you promise to send them back. I don't want to lose the photos."

Eventually I relented and agreed that I would send the pictures back to my auntie after I had viewed them on my phone.

After we hung up, half an hour passed and I still hadn't received any of the pictures. I called my auntie back asking if she had sent the photos because I still hadn't received them. After checking her phone, my "technologically advanced" auntie realised she had sent them to my house phone number.

Right, I'll get my coat.....