A chance to learn about old technology in a new digital age | Opinion

I never thought I’d be in a time where I’d be the biggest loser in the room for not witnessing a landline in my life!

During our budget meetings at the office we normally steer off into random conversations for a while as we talk about stories that will be published the following day. On this day we ended up talking about landlines for a long period of time. I’ve seen what landlines are and what they do, but just on ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter).

It’s fun hearing about old technology and how people felt in those times. Like today it makes sense that they’re making AI, testing out prototypes for flying cars and new iPhones with cool new features that would have made a child in the 50s jaw drop. It blows my mind how lucky I am to be in this day and age.

In our budget meeting, I learned that, apparently, one-hour phone calls were way too long, and at some point you could snoop in on someone’s call like in the scene in the movie “Mean Girls.”

They were called Party Lines — basically group calls minus the Facetime and actual screen. I could not imagine all the gossip you could gather being able to get on someone’s call.

I wonder how people were able to spread information on phone etiquette? I ask because on Twitter you can find threads on Twitch Chat Etiquette, Reddit forums and just about anything really and Facebook announcements and facebook groups.

I kind of envy the last recent years with the tech they had. It was all so brand new, so different. The intentions of it were nice, too. We as people just wanted to find ways to communicate with each other no matter how far we were.

Now, it seems like we add these features for money and almost downright cash grabs. One thing in common about our technology though, is that everything that’s new will always be expensive to an extent. I remember my mom didn’t have a phone until the 1990s or a computer until the 2000s just because of the expense.

I wonder what parents said each year a new type of phone came out? Because with the first phones you had to spin a dial to call a number, but then someone invented buttons. Did 90s kids want to have those phones where you spin the dial to capture that retro-ness like kids today do?

Contrary to belief, many in Gen Z are aware of old electronics. In fact, it’s really popular to bring back retro items.

For example, on ‘X’ I see a lot of retro items with a Gen Z twist, like Hello Kitty themed rotary phones, polaroids, record players, Atari games, and Sanario flip phones dazzled with sparkles and keychains. In fact, I’ve been wanting a record player for a long time.

Slowly making their way back into the trends are CD players. My friends Hannah and Morgan own one, and they have them decorated with stickers. I plan to join them in the revival of retro items soon.

I think this generation craves authenticity, and what’s more authentic than stuff from back then?

Tara Wyatt is a photographer for the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at [email protected]