Oral History: Emily Burns

Originally, I was planning on interviewing my grandma over Christmas break, however, there were complications and our plans fell through. The other person I was thinking about interviewing was my old house mom, Suz. I remembered her telling me that she used to work at a telephone company when she was younger, so, I thought she would be perfect for my interview. Going into the interview I had prepared a list of questions; phones being the main theme. One thing that surprised me is that I didn’t even get close to asking all the questions I had prepared. Often times I found our conversation going in a different direction than I anticipated. We ended up having a 40-minute conversation, however we strayed off topic a few times and ended up talking about politics and social media. When I was going into this conversation I did not think phones were going to be such a broad topic. Our conversation started getting general once we began talking about the impact smart phones has on today’s society. The phones that Suz grew up working on are totally different than the cellphones we have now. It was interesting to hear how she has seen technology advance, and her view on it because she has seen technology grow in a very different way. Suz has been a house mom for the past twenty or so years now, so she has been able to observe the different relationships each generation has with technology, specifically with phones. The cellphones we have now are so advanced that we can do almost anything that can be done on a computer. Since the smart phones we have now have so many functions, this made the topic pretty general. The impact such a small device can have on the world is incredible. Smart phones have changed our society and it will continue to change the world and advance. In my 4-5 minute interview, I chose to focus on Suz’s career journey along with what she thinks the future of technology will be like. I set up my interview in a past, present, future format while the main focus was on phones. I thought a subsequent order would make the interview easier to follow. I tried to fit all the best ideas into the interview while making it still sound smooth.

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