Antiquities and Technology

I remember when the rich, attorneys, and doctors owned cell phones.  Now, everyone has a cell phone, even kids as young as elementary school age, are attached to their devices.  As a teenager, we had one phone in the house connected to the wall by a telephone line.  And when the phone rang, several people screamed “GOT IT!” and raced, jumped over furniture, pushed people out of the way to grab a ringing line with a breathless and calm “Hello?”, with one hand while the other shoved the loser’s away, only to realize the damn call wasn’t for you.  If you were born before the 90’s, you remember doing this.

Now, it’s all text messages and emails and everyone has a direct connection with each individual.  No family lines or party lines or cordless phones, or yelling, “Get OFF the PHONE!” so someone else can use it.

Today’s fast paced, technology connected, social media millennia is a different world than the one I grew up in.  Sometimes it makes me feel old and sometimes it makes me feel like I can’t keep up.  Technology is changing the way we live our lives so rapidly, it’s hard to know sometimes where to keep moving forward and when to slow down.  Is all this technology really helping us stay connected or creating social divides in the way people relate to each other?

Keeping spare change for an emergency phone call was normal.  Fifty cents should do and if not, there was always collect.  Which would just piss off your parents, so you had better not spend your spare change.  There was a time when a phone call was even cheaper.  As a kid, I always carried a dime and a nickel, just in case I needed one phone call home.

As I venture out into the world with my daughter, we came across a payphone.  No, it was not in a museum and it worked.  Required fifty cents to use.  And nostalgia set in.  I explained to her, that when I was her age, I carried spare change so I could call home.  And everyone had everyone’s number memorized.  Now, the pay phone, a relic from yester-year would only be mildly helpful as I only have one or two numbers memorized.  Mine and my husbands.  And I’m sure most folks these days are that way.  No need to use that brain power to remember useless phone numbers.

When we returned home, my daughter eagerly told the story of the days adventures referring to the “Phone Box” we saw and wondered how in the world old people ever survived and evolved.