“Touch Someone” intrigued me. I remember learning about the history of the telephone in middle school briefly, but I learned about it from a purely technological perspective. This article made me think about the audiences that use telephones and how functionality influences advertisements. I never considered that the telephone had once been used for business and important message instead of sociability. Since coming to Emory about three weeks ago, I have used my phone for social reasons way more than I did over the summer or in high school. Now, I text my college friends asking if they want to get food or hang out. I text and Facetime with my high school friends for social reasons—I want to stay in touch and hear their college stories. And I call my family to chat. Without my phone, I would be a less social person. Saying that makes me sound, I think, extremely shallow—how can an iPhone, arguably a social media device itself, make me social? Shouldn’t I be talking to the 7,000 undergrads around me? Isn’t that the way to be social? Probably, yes. But I can’t deny that I need my phone to help me be social. Phones today have become much more advanced than what they were in the late 19th century, and their functions have also changed.
My mother has been teaching nursery school for over 15 years. Not a week goes by without her telling me and my sister at least one story about her “cute, little 3-year-olds.” I’ve heard stories about quiet kids who barely talk to anyone in the beginning of the school year. My mom helps these kids feel comfortable around people and in a new environment. She teaches them to interact with their classmates and make friends, something essential in everyone’s life. My mom also tells me stories about students who are violent to other classmates. In this case, it is important for my mom to help them learn how to act kindly towards others. This is necessary for making future friends and earning respect. Pre-school is a place where children learn the foundations of many life skills. One cannot create a strong circle of friends if he/she doesn’t talk or keep a friendly persona. I think that pre-school social and emotional programs succeed the majority of the time because I’ve heard that most of my mom’s students have greatly matured during just one year. In the cases where the students need additional guidance, there are more specialized child-development teachers.
In the case of the telephone, the public must learn to take something they know (a telegraph or a phone for business use) and change their methods. In the case of attending nursery school, the children are taught basic communication skills with little to no background knowledge. However, in both cases, the telephone advertisements and nursery school teachers show people new ways to interact and remain social as they grow up.