By Brian Finkel
I reflect on a recent visit with my 84-year old Aunt Honey. As you might expect, she is not an avid cell phone user. She wanted help entering contacts into her phone. She has a basic phone so we had to enter text using the “9-up” keypad. Her objective is to make phone calls by selecting someone’s name instead of typing the telephone number.
The event had me thinking about the way we used to make telephone calls – using an address book or a phone list and then typing in the number. In my youth, things weren’t so bad – everyone lived in the same town – with the same area code and only a few prefixes. For each friend you only had to remember the 4 digits and perhaps which prefix to use. Fast forward a few years and with the advent of cell phones, IP telephony, new area codes, and geographically-dispersed friends and family – you now need to remember 10 digits. 10 digits is beyond most people’s working memory (which is typically 7 digits). Address books and phone lists were required.