Whenever I read or hear the term STD I immediately think of Subscriber Trunk Dialling. Trunk calls, as they were called, as opposed to local calls, allowed you to call people in other areas of the country by putting your finger into the appropriate number on the dial and turning it until it couldn’t go any further. I explain this because a few years ago I observed some schoolchildren in a museum looking at telephones throughout the ages. When they came to use the black Bakelite one; similar to the above; they just couldn’t work out what to do with it.
Anyone born after the 80’s will be used to pushing the buttons on cell-phones that have GPS satellite signals enabling them to call anyone, anywhere, anytime. Since observing those children, though, I now find the boot is on the other foot. The reason is, those app phones and tablets with touch screens, I simply cannot work out how to use them. I have a bog-standard pay-as-you-go mobile phone which allows me to receive and make calls, along with sending and receiving texts. What more do I need?
Okay, I might need some information – I have my computer for that, or books to search through. Books? Books? What are books? I have noticed my grandchildren hardly ever pick up a reference book. They all seem to get their information from their app phones. It is very instant, and they seem to spend a lot of time on it.
Call me old fashioned, and I may be stuck in the past, but this troglodyte still marvels at how technology has progressed over the past 20 years, let alone the past 60 years, when at the time only one household on our street had a telephone. People have always wanted to communicate with each other. The native Americans did it by smoke signals, the cave dwellers did it by drawing pictures onto the walls of their caves. Nowadays we have the world at our fingertips, and what a world we live in: so colourful and rich in differing cultures.
So, you technological geeks out there, just give a thought to this silver-surfer, who can change a wheel on a car, can operate a circular saw without chopping her fingers off, can just get by in French, German, Swedish and Urdu, but still cannot set the timer on her oven.