Of all the technological marvels of the past quarter century, nothing amazes me more than what has happened to Alexander Graham Bell's humble telephone. Being 45, I am still young enough not quite understanding that I am no longer young. In my youth, this was a phone:
In order to place a local call, you dialed four numbers. You might well end up reaching a party line, limiting privacy. This expanded a bit when one had to add the last digit of the exchange, or a whole exchange to call the town next door. It took forever to place a call, because the dial seemed to take forever, especially if there were a whole lot of high numbers to dial.
Today, one of several phones in our house looks like this:
We still talk of "dialing" someone, but we don't dial. Usually we hit a single button. That is if we want to speak. Sometimes we just type out a quick message for the other person to read.
When the phone isn't being used to play music, check out the internet, or play a game. What was once a large, clunky household appliance, has become a bodily attachment for which direct communication with other human beings is only part of its overall uses. Even more than new drugs to combat diseases, or the latest website, or the ever-growing speed and memory of home computers, it is the humble, telephone that is at the heart of my own sense of amazement at technology.
Lisa weighs the good and the bad, and includes a family moment that might coin a new word.