Sorry, iPhone: Today’s trendiest phone can be found in grandma’s attic – California


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First, there was this:

As Slate reports, “there’s a video circulating on Twitter — almost 4 million people have watched it over the past week — of two teenage boys struggling to make a phone call on a rotary phone. Factor in that this is just one of several young-people-struggling-with-rotary-phones videos to travel widely online over the last couple years, and we’ve got a burgeoning genre on our hands.”

While ”burgeoning” may be an overstatement, it’s true that there’s a collective cultural fascination with the old rotary-dial telephone gently brewing out there. As Slate points out, “a recent challenge in ‘Fortnite,’ the blockbuster video game, had players dialing rotary phones.”

And then comes word that the new TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport in New York, a celebration of all things retro, features “an airline-themed stay and play experience,” as USA Today put it. In addition to “a restored Lockheed Constellation painted in TWA’s livery (that) sits outside the glass-walled lobby as a year-round cocktail lounge,” Bloomberg reports, “each room has a black rotary-dial telephone, a well-stocked cocktail minibar — including Tab soda — a jar of sharpened red No. 2 pencils and lamps of ’60s-era design.”

Both the viral video and the much-anticipated opening of the TWA Hotel can only mean one thing: The further these old technologies recede into the past, the sexier they become.

“One of the pleasures of these videos is that they reverse the more common scenario of young people befuddling the old with their newfangled technology — for once, the old people get to be the in-the-know party here,” says Slate. “They are also refreshingly good-natured: One doesn’t sense that the kids are being harshly mocked for not being able to use these obsolete phones, a lack of exploitation that can be hard to come by in our age of prefab viral moments.”

Like it or not, rotary-phone fascination is now officially a thing.

Luckily, there are online tutorials …

And funny kid videos …

And light-hearted consumer reviews …

And, of course, loving memes that pay tribute to the way we were …


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