For most millennials, it’s easy to forget how different their childhoods were from kids who are just now coming of age. Kids today will never understand the struggle of dial-up internet or the thrill of having a Blockbuster within walking distance. And, apparently, the concept of a landline phone has almost never occurred to them.
However, one woman on TikTok says landlines may be ripe for a comeback after one of the kids she nannies for described the idea to her as if it had never been done before.
Stephanie Rae (@weirdochicken) nannies for three young kids, ages 6, 9, and 12, and her afternoons are often spent shuttling them from one activity to the next. Their schedules don’t always mesh well, which is why she recently found herself rushing the 6-year-old to a birthday party and barely making it in time to drop the 9-year-old off at gymnastics.
“Traffic was crazy, and I was running late,” she explained, before saying that she tried calling the 9-year-old on her iPad to get in touch, but the girl didn’t have it with her.
Next, she tried the 12-year-old, who just got his own phone, and told him to let his sister know she was on her way.
By the time she got back to the house to pick her up, the 9-year-old couldn’t wait to share the lightbulb moment she just had.
“She was like, ‘They need to come up with like a phone that’s for the whole family that stays in the house, so if you need any person in the house, you can call that phone,'” Rae relayed. “Like, it’s not just that one person’s number — it’s like the whole family.”
Not missing a beat, Rae told the little girl that that was “an amazing idea.”
“But do you know how we’re always like losing the remote and stuff?” she asked. “For this phone, let’s attach it to a chord, maybe like stick it on the wall, so that if there’s an emergency, we can always find it. It can’t leave the house, and it’s for the whole family.”
In other words, she was describing an old-school landline — to a T.
“So, we’re not techie people. We don’t know how to invent things,” Rae continued. “But if you’re a developer of stuff, reach out, ’cause we think it’s an awesome idea and maybe a moneymaker.”
More than 2.4 million people have watched the video since it posted. But apparently, not everyone picked up on the fact that Rae was in on the joke and was just being satirical.
“who’s gonna tell her???” one person asked in the comments.
“Tell me you were born after 2000 without telling me,” someone else added.
“IS THIS A JOKE,” another person begged.
There were even a bunch of stitches that followed in which elder Millennials reacted painfully to what they thought was Rae’s naivete.
Others quickly caught on and even joined in on the ruse.
“Let’s take this a step further,” one commenter said, “There needs to be a way for the person calling to leave important info if no one answers.”
“What about if you’re out & your cell phone dies?” someone else asked. “They should a have phone in public places that you can put money in & make a call.”
“Obviously you should be on shark tank to capitalize on this idea,” one commenter offered. “name suggestion – Landline.”
But most of all, the story had a lot of millennials cry-laughing — and feeling rather elderly.
“SCREAMING,” wrote one person, who was clearly amused.
“i feel both offended and incredibly old,” another admitted.
“When I was 20 someone in their 60s said to me, ‘if you live long enough, anything old will become new again,'” another TikToker shared. “And I HATE that I now understand.”
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