• Alysa Salzberg

Hold the phone! A famous gesture is changing

Quick question: If you want to gesture to someone to show that you’re on the phone, how do your hands look?


For those of us who are currently adults, it’s probably a fist with two fingers open on either end, mimicking a phone receiver or an early model cell phone. But recently, dad Daniel Alvarado realized that his kids make this gesture in a different way: by holding a hand flat against one ear, the way a modern cell phone looks when you’re talking on it. He shared his findings in a viral TikTok.


That the gesture has changed makes sense, but it’s still a bit mind-blowing. Many of us believed it might be a holdover of the past, like keeping an image of a floppy disk as the “save” icon on computers. And of course, whatever you might have expected, it’s another testament

to how quickly technology changes.


Read on to learn about the evolution of a once-iconic gesture.


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