I was re-reading a piece I wrote yesterday and focused for a minute on the picture of the telephone.
I realized that there are now people in this world who, if you showed them that picture, would not be able to explain how it worked or maybe even what it was. Given a few more years, maybe as little as ten, and the majority of people will not know.
There was something very simple and even elegant about the virtuality presented by the world wide phone network. IDs were strings of ten numbers which people memorized. In other ways it was actually quite complicated. Several people would map to a single number. There were all kinds of social conventions that went with it, like: "I'll get it!" or "She's not here now" or "Can I take a message?"
BTW, when phone numbers were new, the first two digits were represented by letters called "exchanges."
This was expecially visible when I re-watched a favorite movie, Minority Report. Directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a Philip K Dick story, starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and Max von Sydow. It's set in 2054. The user interface of the computer Cruise uses is now reflected in the touch interface of the iPad. Whether they got the ideas from the movie or not, I don't know.