My first thought when I saw today’s Photo A Day subject was, “Well, that’s easy enough!” And my second thought was, “Wait a minute, how can I take a picture of my phone when what I use to take pictures with is my phone?” Fortunately, my third thought was, “Phew, it’s a good thing that we still have a landline, so I have a bunch of other telephones that I can take a picture of!”
As you can see, although we do have a landline, the phone itself gets kind of shoved to the back, behind various assorted cooking utensils and accoutrement and a pile of charging electronics. It’s still around, but it’s mostly forgotten and neglected. It’s headed toward obsolescence, but it hasn’t quite gotten there yet.
There is a reason we still have a landline, though. We still have it because it’s a convenient backup in case we ever have a problem with our phones – if the nearest cell tower goes down, or the power goes out when the phones aren’t charged, or if (as often happens to me) I just can’t find my blasted cell phone. How could I call my phone to find my phone if I didn’t have a phone?!?? The technology may be outdated, but it’s still useful.
In some ways, people are like that, too. As they get older and their knowledge and experience begins to seem obsolete to the younger generations, we forget that they still have a purpose, they can still function just fine, and that their history is important. Just because old technology doesn’t work the same way as new, or as quickly, or perhaps it doesn’t have quite as many function, doesn’t mean it’s useless. And neither are people. There’s often a certain nostalgic charm in older technology; there’s definitely a charm in the knowledge, experience, and life stories of older people. Let’s not forget that. Especially since someday (probably sooner than we think), someone from a younger generation will be asking us, “What’s a telephone?”