I’ve had versions of the same recurring dream/nightmare for decades. While I don’t particularly enjoy the dream, it is hilarious to me to reflect on how it has evolved over time to keep up with advances in technology in my waking life.
The dream always involves the urgent need to use a phone at some point. Why I need to use the phone, who I’m trying to contact, how I feel when I’m doing so, what I’m trying to communicate – these circumstances all vary. But commonly, I am unable to complete dialing or entering the number – I cannot put through the call.
When I first began having these dreams, the phone was rotary dial. Some of you reading this blog may never have had occasion to use one of these ancient devices. Usually, I would realize that I had not dialed one or more of the numbers all the way to the fingerstop, and would have to hang up and start over, again and again. Then I got my first pushbutton phone and the dream updated itself – now the problem became that I pushed buttons in the wrong sequence, or hit the button next to the one I intended to hit, and so had to hang up and start over, again and again. Eventually, cell phones entered my waking life and soon enough they showed up in the dream, too. Now the problem was the tiny keypad and my too-large fingers – hitting two keys at once, not being able to see the keys well, not being sure I had actually depressed a key, pressing a key and having it enter itself more than once – and thus having to hang up and start over again and again. Interestingly I never had dropped signal problems. The keypad, entering the numbers, being able to “dial” the phone number, remained the source of the frustration.
Last year I got an iPhone. It’s taken awhile, but the iPhone finally showed up in the dream. (Maybe it’s taken awhile because I don’t have the dream as often anymore. Thank you, decades of therapy!) Now the problem is that touchscreen – I touched the number, but did it actually enter? Did I hit two numbers at once? And I’m back to the entering the number in the wrong sequence frustration, as well as the multiple entries from one touch. But it’s all on a beautiful, lovely iPhone, so maybe at some point in the dream I can just tell myself “screw it, let’s forget the phone call and surf the web or check email!”
I’m not sure what you can possibly make out of this blog post, except the fact that I am very, very, very, very old.