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‘Want to feel old?’ How the traditional hand signal for taking a picture has completely transformed

Taking a picture sure isn’t what it used to be.

For decades, snapping a photo required a box-shaped camera, which was held up in front of the face with two hands while the right pointer finger pushed a button.

But these days, it’s really only professional photographers who take pictures with something other than their phone — meaning the younger generations have an entirely new hand signal to indicate that they want to take a picture. 

Oh no! Adults are complaining that they feel old after learning that some children and teens hold their hands this way to mime taking a picture

What a change! Some teens who have never had film cameras or digital cameras — only phones — hold their hands differently to indicate taking a photo

What a change! Some teens who have never had film cameras or digital cameras — only phones — hold their hands differently to indicate taking a photo

Traditional: Meanwhile, the maker of the video says, anyone over 25 does it this way

Traditional: Meanwhile, the maker of the video says, anyone over 25 does it this way

This way! For decades, snapping a photo required a box-shaped camera, which was held up in front of the face with two hands while the right pointer finger pushed a button

This way! For decades, snapping a photo required a box-shaped camera, which was held up in front of the face with two hands while the right pointer finger pushed a button

Many TikTokers are discovering this shift for the first time after seeing a viral video by Heather, 33.

‘Everyone 25 and older, want to feel old? Ask your kids how they would take a picture,’ she began a video that’s now been viewed 2.5 million times.

First, she turns to a child born in 2011, who is between 10 and 11 years old. 

When prompted to show how he would take a picture, the child holds up two hands at chest level, one covering the fingers of the other. He then mimics pushing a button in the middle with his thumb.

Heather tries the same thing with a girl born in 2004, who is 16 or 17. She, too, overlaps her hands in front of her and demonstrates pushing a button in the middle with her thumb. 

Meanwhile, two adults — born 1973 (aged 47-48) and 1981 (aged 39-40) both show the traditional hand signal, mimicking clicking the button on the top right corner of a box camera.

Yikes! As the video predicted, the change in hand signals has left many viewers feeling old

Yikes! As the video predicted, the change in hand signals has left many viewers feeling old

As the video predicted, the change in hand signals has left many viewers feeling old.

‘I thought everyone still pretended like the old film cameras… I didn’t think it changed,’ wrote one.

‘This upsets me deeply,’ wrote another. 

‘That’s the saddest thing I’ve seen today!’ another remarked. 

Several teens and adults in their early 20s, though, chimed in to say they did it the ‘old’ way.

New York City father-of-two Daniel Alvarado shared a viral TikTok video showing how some kids today do a handle gesture for talking on the phone

New York City father-of-two Daniel Alvarado shared a viral TikTok video showing how some kids today do a handle gesture for talking on the phone

The traditional way: First, he asked his wife to show which hand gesture she'd use

She held her thumb to her ear and her pinky to her mouth

The traditional way: First, he asked his wife to show which hand gesture she’d use. She held her thumb to her ear and her pinky to her mouth

Wait a minute! He then asked his tween daughter, who held a flat palm up to her face

Wait a minute! He then asked his tween daughter, who held a flat palm up to her face

In the family: His son did the same flat-handed gesture

In the family: His son did the same flat-handed gesture

Last summer, New York City father-of-two Daniel Alvarado went viral for a similar video after he discovered that his two children used an entirely different gesture to say that they’re talking on the phone.. 

‘This is how you know you’re getting old,’ Daniel said in the clip, which has been viewed 2.6 million times. 

First, he approached his wife Marciella, asking her to show the hand gesture she’d use to pretend she was talking on the phone.

Unsurprisingly, Marciella struck the hand gesture that’s been used for decades, holding her thumb to her ear and her pinky to her mouth, with the rest of her fingers closed.  

He then approached his tween daughter Daniella, who was busy playing on her own phone on the couch.

When he told her to show him the gesture she’s use, Daniella held a completely flat hand up to the side of her face, the palm facing her ear.

Wild! Commenters were not loving the discovery, though some had their own epiphanies as a result

Wild! Commenters were not loving the discovery, though some had their own epiphanies as a result

Hold on: Not everyone has been blown away, though. Some commenters have expressed doubt, saying they've 'literally NEVER seen any young people gesturing a phone like that'

Hold on: Not everyone has been blown away, though. Some commenters have expressed doubt, saying they’ve ‘literally NEVER seen any young people gesturing a phone like that’

He gave the same prompt to his teen son Kamilo, who was also playing on his phone. Kamila did the same flat-handed gesture as his sister.

Daniel concluded the video by showing that his mind was blown by the discovery — and the millions of viewers who have watched the clip feel the same way.

‘I don’t like this, nope not one bit,’ wrote one commenter.

On Instagram, another admitted that her six-year-old did the full hand gesture, while one more wrote: ‘This is actually mind blowing… and sad lol.’

‘Oh my god that generational ‘phone’ hand gesture thing I never even thought about that. It’s like how everything became rectangles, even gestures are losing their silhouette,’ remarked a Twitter user. 

On Instagram, another admitted that her six-year-old did the full hand gesture, while one more wrote: 'This is actually mind blowing... and sad lol'

On Instagram, another admitted that her six-year-old did the full hand gesture, while one more wrote: ‘This is actually mind blowing… and sad lol’

Some had their own technology epiphanies. One woman noted that her son must not know what she means when she tells him to ‘hang up the phone,’ and another said her kids have asked her why she makes a circular cranking motion to get someone to roll down a window.

Not everyone has been blown away, though. Some commenters have expressed doubt, saying they’ve ‘literally NEVER seen any young people gesturing a phone like that.’

‘I’m 14 and I don’t know a single person who does that flat hand thing,’ wrote one.

‘I was born in the 00’s but I do the one with the thumb and pink lol,’ wrote another. 


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