Fable: The Technophobe Who Turned Technophile

As with the Internet today, the arrival of the telephone 130 years ago caused mixed feelings. Its propensity for both good and bad was noted by the most distinguished writer in America.

The local newspaper where the writer lived installed a telephone at his house in Connecticut.

“The voice carries entirely too far as it is,” grumbled the writer, “if Bell had invented a muffler or a gag he would have done a real service.”

The writer told the the telephone installers to: “Put the thing near the window so that I can get rid of it easily.”

The writer’s family loved the telephone so much that they used it all the time and the writer couldn’t get to use it when he wanted to.

So he had a second one installed in his third floor billiard room for his exclusive use.

Moral: It takes time to adjust to new technology



  1. Dick Selwood quotes Henry David Thoreau (1817–62)
    “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end,… We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate.”

  2. Absolutely, Steve, Mark Twain it was.

  3. That would have been the US’ greatest theologian, Mark Twain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *