Humor: Can This Teenager Use a Rotary Phone?


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  krishna  •  7 months ago  •  28 comments

By:   TheEllenShow

Humor: Can This Teenager Use a Rotary Phone?

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

The internet has made so many things obsolete, like maps, phone books, and rotary phones. Ellen was curious to see how young people would function without the world wide web, so she challenged a 17-year-old to use all three... creating hilarious results.


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1  seeder  Krishna    7 months ago

The times they are a changin'!

Just Jim NC TttH
2  Just Jim NC TttH    7 months ago


3  Sunshine    7 months ago

I never could fold a map.

3.1  Freefaller  replied to  Sunshine @3    7 months ago

Lol can anyone?

3.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Freefaller @3.1    7 months ago

all you need is a match, for those that can't use a lighter

user image
3.2    replied to  Sunshine @3    7 months ago

I have never had to use a map. Since I could drive there has always been at least mapquest where your route was already pre determined. I wonder how many people could ever find where they were going if they only had a map to work from.

3.2.1  Sunshine  replied to  @3.2    7 months ago
I wonder how many people could ever find where they were going if they only had a map to work from. 

Not many. People don't even look for familiar landmarks anymore.  Ask someone under 30 to give you verbal directions somewhere. jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

3.2.2  bccrane  replied to  @3.2    7 months ago

I used maps up until we got one of the first Garmin's and after it got us lost went back to maps.

When acting as a navigator in a small private plane I found that turning the map upside down when heading south was of great help, especially when you had to keep track of transmission towers and directional radio signals (for that matter whichever direction you were going turning that side up).

Thrawn 31
3.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  Sunshine @3    7 months ago

No one can. That is an impossible task.

4  Freefaller    7 months ago

LMAO, that's funny

Each generation has been there, I personally would have no idea how to do some of the stuff they did in previous generations

Thrawn 31
4.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Freefaller @4    7 months ago

My example was a telegraph. I know how use a rotary phone, of course they were on the out when I was a kid, but ask me to send a telegraph and I will look at you like you are retarded. I am sure that is how that girl felt, that was probably the first time she had ever seen a rotary phone in real life (I haven't sen one since the early 90s). Giving her that POS and expecting her to operate it is like giving anyone in that audience a telegraph and telling them to get to it. Give everyone an iphone though and she blows the audience away lol.

5  TTGA    7 months ago

Trying to put in an ampersand might be a bit difficult.  I noticed that the phone she's using is, although a rotary model, made of newer materials.  With an original rotary phone, her biggest problem would be to LIFT it.  Those bad boys were heavy.

6  TᵢG    7 months ago

That was hilarious.  jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

7  1stwarrior    7 months ago

And I thought my 21 year old daughter felt challenged.  She can't even figure that the letters on the dial aren't for texting.

Buzz of the Orient
7.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  1stwarrior @7    7 months ago


The day that cashiers only accept smartphone payments, and not cash, I'll never go shopping in a store again - I'll just buy from the farmers who spread their produce out on a blanket.  And they check the weight of the purchase with something like this - no electronics involved.


Thrawn 31
7.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  1stwarrior @7    7 months ago

Honestly, it is kinda like watching some old people try to operate a keyboard. In her defense though, I doubt she has even seen a rotary phone. 

That would be like asking anyone today, born at any time to use a slide stick. I only know because my grandfather showed me how to use his like 20 years ago. Still have it, that fucking thing is almost 100 years old. 

7.2.1  bccrane  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7.2    7 months ago

I still have our first slide rules, the original one was the most powerful slide rule in our area, it's about 4 foot long 1 foot wide and weighed about 10#, then, with the advancements in miniaturization, we went to one that you could fit in your shirt pocket.

7.2.2  MUVA  replied to  Thrawn 31 @7.2    7 months ago

My father is 88 years old and one of the first persons that used a computer keyboard in the military. 

Thrawn 31
8  Thrawn 31    7 months ago

Shit, that would be like asking me to use a telegraph and I was born in the 80s. Honestly, my kids won't even know what a house phone is unless we explain it to them. Of course, folding the fucking map, give me a break, no one refolds them shit perfectly. Not that anyone uses them anymore.

Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
9  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    7 months ago

Too hilarious!

10  Kavika     7 months ago


10.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Kavika @10    7 months ago

is he wearing a mini Nirvana  T shirt ?  cool

11  JohnRussell    7 months ago
When British author Rudyard Kipling visited Chicago in 1889, he described a city captivated by technology and blinded by greed. He described a rushed and crowded city, a “huge wilderness” with “scores of miles of these terrible streets” and their “hundred thousand of these terrible people.” “The show impressed me with a great horror,” he wrote. “There was no color in the street and no beauty—only a maze of wire ropes overhead and dirty stone flagging under foot.” He took a cab “and the cabman said that these things were the proof of progress.” Kipling visited a “gilded and mirrored” hotel “crammed with people talking about money, and spit- ting about everywhere.” He visited extravagant churches and spoke with their congregants. “I listened to people who said that the mere fact of spiking down strips of iron to wood, and getting a steam and iron thing to run along them was progress, that the telephone was progress, and the network of wires overhead was progress. They repeated their statements again and again.” Kipling said American newspapers report “that the snarling together of  telegraph wires, the heaving up of houses, and the making of money is progress.”¹

 from The American Yawp (US History book)

Stanford University Press

12  JohnRussell    7 months ago

Watched the Ellen video. 

It was all pretty much a bust, as the 17 year old girl knew immediately what the three items were and even knew, in general, how to use them. The only thing she really did wrong was not picking up the handset before starting to dial the phone. 

12.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @12    7 months ago
  • She had no clue how to fold the map (missed the accordion concept).
  • She did not know the structure of the Yellow pages.
  • She did not know how to dial with a single finger (used her hand) and indeed dialed before picking up the handset.

But yes she knew what a map was (what one would expect), knew what the Yellow pages were for (to her credit) and recognized an ancient (to her) phone (what one would expect).

I think Ellen was trying to illustrate what we all know but rarely observe:  routine, everyday, 'obvious' tools for us '20th century born' individuals are obsolete in modern times with an entire generation that has never used them.   It is funny (to me) because it was not that long ago that we were walking around with corded phones yet to the current generation these are as obsolete as ice boxes (holding large delivered cubes of ice) are to us.

12.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  TᵢG @12.1    7 months ago

Well, there are many people who do use maps that dont know how to fold them exactly like they were before the opened them. The girl actually folded the map down to its smallest size quite easily, she just didnt have the cover part on the top when she was done. 

When she used the phone book she knew to try and locate the type of service she was seeking, which is the way the business phone book (yellow book) is organized, and then look alphabetically within that section. She just didnt know the term for the service she was seeking. She knew what to do, she just didnt have the proper terms in her head. 

As for the phone, she did try to properly dial the numbers from the phone number she had, although obviously not lifting the handset first and getting a dial tone was a major problem. 

I just think, as a demonstration this thing was kind of a wet noodle. We have a difference of opinion on this. 

12.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @12.1.1    7 months ago

Not something I am going to spend time debating.


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