Two 17-Year Olds Challenged To Dial A Number With A Rotary Phone In Less Than 4 Minutes

May 14, 2019


This is a video of two 17-year old boys (born circa 2002) who were challenged to dial a specific phone number with a rotary phone in less than four minutes. It was a real nail biter. I like how they originally start dialing from the bottom of the finger stop and dial TO the number they want. They also just leave the handset on the receiver. Although eventually (with a little help), they are able to figure it out and make the call within the time limit. A life skill that should come in handy in the event, and only in the event, they're ever visiting their grandma like decent grandchildren and her house catches fire. Now let's see if they can make a call with a pager.

Keep going for the video while I speculate what was in that Harry Potter chest. UPDATE: a $275 house-specific boxed book set.

Thanks to K Diddie, who likened this video to "watching my wife's cat stick it's paw under the bathroom door while I"m sitting on the toilet....trying to steal my underwear." Very insightful.

  • Xockszky

    To be fair, they're dealing with technology that was outdated even when their parents were young, but I do understand older people's reactions when they see younger people contend with old technology. I'm in my early 30s and it makes me feel old when I see younger people give a "what the f**k?!" reaction to things that were just normal to me when I was growing up... but younger people just never used this kind of stuff. It would be like faulting adults today for not knowing how to start and drive a Model T... even most elderly people today are way too young to have driven one.

  • Ivanna Pewpalott

    reminded of zoolander

  • im1dermike

    This is amazing.

    ps. DID YOU KNOW... on analog phones, you can dial numbers using the little hang-up nodes that depress. So for 6, you would pressing the node very quickly 6 times, pause, then do the next number.

  • im1dermike

    Sounds like it might be called "pulse dialing".

  • James Mcelroy

    I like it because it shows just how much things have changed. When was the last time you heard a dial tone? Why should they know how to use it? It's great not because they are idiot kids who need to be beat more, but because it really demonstrates how quickly technology and also our daily experiences have changed.

  • GeneralDisorder

    A what tone? I think you're making that up.

    But in all seriousness my parents would still be using rotary phones if it wasn't basically impossible to use. I found one of those pulse-to-tone converter boxes and they're cheap. I was gonna buy one for my dad but then I forgot and he bought a touch-tone phone and grumbles about it non-stop because "it's not as good as the old phones".

  • sizzlepants

    Indeed. Ask an office worker under 30 to send a fax and it will likely look about the same.

    As for an actual dial tone last time I heard one is at the end of the song Steambreather by Mastodon. And I always find it sounds like an out of place retro sound effect unless I'm watching the video (which spoofs old 80s thriller movies).

  • Kaizer Chief

    They should up the stakes. If they can’t figure out how to use it before the timer runs out, their balls get snipped off.

  • Bling Nye


    The novelty of watching kids struggle with old tech is only matched by the novelty of watching the elderly struggle with new tech.

  • K Diddie

    insert 'setting clock on VCR' joke here

  • Beard

    God I love these types of videos - the ones where I can almost hear the condescending tone from the Boomers who enthusiastically click the share button on Facebook for Linda, Karen, and Susan to see...

    "Hello fellow boomers. Let's watch these IDIOT gen-Z-ers try to figure out this really cool and relevant tech. We finally know how to use something that they don't. Maybe this will finally make them understand that the way we used to do things is so much better than their current way of doing things. The old ways of doing things built character while the new ways just make you lazy and entitled. I feel sorry for them, that they were born in 2002. Because if I ever struggled to use wildly dated tech like this, my dad would beat me with his belt... and I don't care what the the AAP, the APA, or the CDC says, kids need to be beat more! I mean, look how we turned out - 0 problems. Blah blah blah blah blah..."

  • Eric

    "Also, how do I download the internet? Linda please put your son on the line."

  • Matthew Vosti

    Can I stop gouging out my eyes yet??

  • Bling Nye

    No keep going, no one likes a quitter.

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