My 7-year-old son called his friend today to see if he wanted to go play outside in the snow (we received a foot of snow here this week). Using our home phone line, my son picked up the phone, dialed the number, put the phone to his ear and then suddenly got a really weird look on his face.
I asked him about the look on his face and he said, “Dad, the phone’s making a really weird noise. It’s going like bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz.”
I told him that the sound he was hearing was a busy signal. That explanation didn’t do much to satisfy my son so I went on to explain that his friend or someone in his family must already be using their phone.
The utter look of confusion still on my son’s face made me realize that trying to explain to him why someone can’t take his call because they are using their phone is like trying to explain to him why he can’t see the picture someone just took on an old film camera.
You see, my son has grown up his entire life with voice mail. To him, if someone can’t take a call or is already using his or her phone, it will simply play a voice greeting and then ask you to leave a message. So to him, it made no sense why he wasn’t hearing his friend’s family’s voice mail greeting.
So I ask, is the busy signal doomed to the same fate as the film camera?