Christina Wolfgram
November 19, 2015 5:39 am

Phones are so user-friendly these days. Heck, we don’t even have to type if we don’t want to – we can dictate text messages to our cyber secretary, Siri. But it hasn’t always been this easy. Back in the day, when people still thought cell phones were only for making calls and Blackberries and Sidekicks hadn’t yet normalized phone keyboards, there was T9.

It’s all coming back to you now, right? Mobile phones used to only be equipped with a few keys: 0-9, a green button, and a red button. When we wanted to type out a text, we had to do with just those number buttons and a whole lot of sheer willpower. Each number button represented three to four different letters or symbols, and conjuring up the correct letter could mean painstakingly clicking certain numbers over and over again. The worst part was that there was no spell check, which meant either spelling “necessary” with two c’s or lugging out the Webster’s before responding to your crush’s most recent text message.

Oh, and texts cost 10¢ a pop. Dark times.

In a recent video in their “Technically Speaking” series, Elite Daily challenged a group of teens to try the antiquated T9 method of typing, and, wow, it totally stumped them. Flip phones are not as fun as Adele makes them look.

Each person had one minute (timed on an iPhone, of course) to type out specific messages. The results were … interesting. “Meet me at my locker,” came out as “Need of at oxy loomaballedss.” There are definitely some real words in there, but not the right ones.

The teen asked to type, “Pick up three cards for grandma’s birthday party,” was so close with, “Pick up three cardis for grandma scrut.” Any mind reader would understand that immediately. I mean, scrut. Duh!

One girl only managed a measly, “yo,” in the sixty seconds she had to figure out the T9. At least that could work as a coy greeting.

Though most of the participants started out confidently, by the end of the experiment, all of them were wondering how anyone in the early 2000’s managed to communicate with each other.

Seems like a good time to think fondly of our RAZRs and Nokias of yesteryear, but be grateful that we never have to use them again. If, by any chance, you do have a desire to relive the Stone Age, there is an app called Type Nine that will allow you to enable T9 on your smart phone.

Just remember to double check that you haven’t spelled “party” as “scrut,” and you should be good to go!

(Image via Elite DailyYouTube.)

Advertisement