Teens Talking on Landline
Source: Getty

Kids Encounter “Ancient” Landline Phone for the First Time in Viral TikTok

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Sep. 7 2022, Published 3:22 p.m. ET

TikTok user @lmhurd1 went viral on the popular social media platform after posting a video of a young woman encountering a landline phone for the first time. The post has throngs of people online stating that they now "feel old" after watching the clip. The girl says in the clip, "Yo! It's actually working!" genuinely surprised that the phone is operational.

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A young child is shown also in the room looking on with a smile. The camera then pans back to the person holding the landline phone. Someone behind the camera responds, "Yeah, it's hooked...it's a, it's a phone."

"Can I do your number?" The young girl asks, hanging the receiver up.

"It will ring, it will call me," the off-camera person says.

"Really? Hold up," the young woman says.

"Yeah, it's a real phone."

She begins pressing buttons on the phone, presumably the phone number of whoever is recording the video.

After she's finished dialing the number she freezes, "What do I do now?"

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Source: Twitter | @shes_the_maNN1

The person off camera responds, "Put it up to your ear."

The young woman excitedly tells the woman holding the camera, "Answer, answer!"

The camera then transitions to the child from earlier in the video on a different landline phone as the other girl punches in numbers on that device.

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Source: Twitter | @nayelySpring910

The child, too, excitedly says, "Answer answer!" as the older girl looks at a cell phone, seemingly in shock that the phone call went through. "It's answering! That's cool!" she says with a smile. The older girl walks away as the child repeatedly instructs her to answer while holding the receiver up to her ear.

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Source: Twitter | @DaJanTRO

"Oh my gosh!" the child exclaims when she can hear the other girl's voice come in through the receiver. "It actually works!" she continues.

The child then appears to attempt to hang the phone up but initially looks a little lost until the older girl instructs her to "just push it down" referring to the hook switch on the device's receiver cradle.

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Source: Twitter | @marshal_moe

"What! It ended!" the older girl exclaimed, seeing the call disconnect from her smartphone interface.

According to National Interest about 40% of US Households still have a landline phone (as of this writing, in September, 2022). And that figure is steadily decreasing with time.

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Source: Twitter | @WitYoLo_okinAss

This is a marked decrease from 2004, where an estimated 90% of American households had a landline telephone connection, Statista states: "As smartphones have become a constant companion for most people in the United States, landline phones are rapidly losing their relevance. In 2004, more than 90 percent of U.S. adults lived in households that had an operational landline phone - now it’s less than 40 percent."

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Source: Twitter | @GeneticJen

Believe it or not, the CDC has been tracking phone ownership since 2004 as "a by-product of its biannual National Health Interview Survey."

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Source: Twitter | @faranaaz

Twitter users who saw the TikTok were tickled pink by the response of the youngsters who encountered the phone, sharing photos of rotary models. Others remarked that their own children were also equally nonplussed when they came across public payphones, wondering what they were used for or why anyone would ever need to place a call on such an unwieldy device.

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Source: Twitter | @YahyaYayoHassan

And then others mentioned that even if landline phones seem like some foreign piece of ancient technology, many homes still have ethernet ports for high-speed internet, so it's not like hardwired communications technology is completely foreign to them.

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