Modern Technology?

Not too long ago I was entertaining at a retirement home. My step son had come with me. While I was playing he tried to call his mother from a phone he found in the hall way. However, I couldn’t figure out how to use it because it was an old rotary dial phone! Just in my life time (OK I recently turned 64) I have experienced many significant changes in phone service. At one time we had a “party line.” For those who are too young to remember, a “party line” is one used by more than one household. There were three families on our line. One ring was for the first family; two rings for the second, and our notification of a call was three rings. It was great to get a “private line” because it was just for us. There may be some of you out there who can remember the phone system that you cranked to get the operator who made the connection for you. The rotary dial phone was once “modern technology.” The next innovation I remember was the reduction in style (remember the “Princes Phones”?) and a change from rotary to push buttons. Somewhere along the way “walk around” phones where invented. It was the first step of wireless. You could at least be wireless in your own home. We have one at home that is good for about 50 yards outside the house. Eventually the cellular phone was invented. I was among the first to have a “bag phone.” It was huge and weighed a ton. Sometime later the bag was discarded and the phones became smaller and smaller until there were “flip phones.” The really big innovation was the shift from “analog” to “digital.” This soon led to “smart phones.” Digital coverage was spotty at first. I can remember not so long ago that if I got more than a mile from a 4 lane highway there was no reliable signal. Now we have “face to face,” “Skype” and “Tango” technology. I have known people who have “skyped” their important events (funerals, wedding, graduations etc. ) When it comes to Hospice Care, changing technology of all kinds is a good topic to engage “life review” conversations. It can generate fond, humorous, or touching memories. People in their 80s and 90s (or even post 100) will have even more memories of the huge changes of the past century. Start this conversation and get a great education.


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