My fourteen year old son is a typical teen. He is popular at school, from what I can gather and pretty self assured, most of the time. That is within the confines of the family, school and holiday guests here at Coombe Mill where he can be larger than life or at the very least courteous. However what happens to my face booking, You tubing, playstaioning expert when the phone rings? He and his brothers all leave it to me to answer, and if Nick or I are out then I can just imagine them all passing the virtual hot potato by way of the phone to see who is going to lift the receiver and manager to splutter a gruff ” good evening Coombe Mill” down the line.
At his age I still remember the old house phone in the hall, no social media, in fact the internet hadn’t been invented and TV was only four channels. The upside of this was that I grew up answering the phone and making phone calls to arrange all my social comings and goings with friends and taking messages for my parents.
I suddenly realised when it came to ringing an old friend of ours about work experience that Felix was quite scared of this innocent piece of equipment. To Nick and myself it is slightly mystifying but the sixteen year old agreed remembering having to phone and make his work experience arrangements too.
Our response was to turn into pushy parent mode backed up by four younger siblings all nudging each other and sniggering around the door as we cajoled Felix into ringing. Of course we had warmed our friend to the idea first and agreed that Felix would ring and ask for himself, yet still even knowing this he was terrified of what to say. I suspected he would be a little nervous but to see him almost back down from what he wanted to do rather than make a phone call did shock me.
I wonder if my teens are typical. May be everything will be arranged by facebook one day and even formal things drift into the world of social media as an acceptable form of communication? We already restrict thank you letters to the ‘our age and over group’ allowing anyone younger to be thanked by social media or text. Here again somehow the phone call was by passed as an option and email appears to have the sole function of authorising apps and social media accounts in my children’s world.
To speculate further I wonder if the mobile phone will become superseded? I remember the dash for my older two to own their own phone and enter the world of text. However my twelve year old has never used his phone and the triplets have never mentioned one. It turns out all they need is an i pod for the apps and games, facebook and Skype.
Perhaps I shouldn’t chastise Felix for his phone phobia; maybe in reality he will never have the need to use one anyway when wi fi fills the airways.
Perhaps he will look back and laugh telling his children of his fear of this old thing called a telephone.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.