Monday, July 31, 2017

On the phone

Jimmy at 18 months old standing next to shelves holding telephone to ear
Me at 18 months old "Talking on the phone"
When I was younger people actually talked on the phone, the phone rang and you answered it. If you wanted to know who was calling, you answered it. There was no Caller ID, so if you wanted to screen your calls you had someone else answer the phone, and then silently whisper the callers name to you so you could either shake your head no, or take the call.

Not that I ever did this but my sister's did. It's always easier to say it was your sister, except of course when your buddy asks you, "Who was that girl I saw you with at the drive-in?" then you never say it was your sister, even if it was your sister.

There was also a cord attached to the phone that kept you in one spot, a short cord came standard with the phone and really limited your movement, unless you bought an extra long cord so you could move around a bit.

I have spent hours twisting and untangling those cords trying to straighten out the loops. Because once your little sister nods her head and accepts her screened call, and then stretches the cord across the kitchen and out onto the back porch, so she can have some "Privacy", the cords are just never quite the same.

Rotary pulse dial telephone with a tangled handset cord
Rotary (Pulse dial) Phone
The phones were rotary dial too; do you remember the rotary dial phones? The rotary phones were known as pulse dialing, this was before the push buttons came along, or touch-tone.

Then came cordless phones, now little sister could practically hide anywhere with her call, within range of the base that is, and now there were no more cords to untangle. These phones were good as long as you remembered to put the handset back on the base to charge at night, or had little sister limit her calls to less than an hour and a half, that's usually when her calls ended because of the battery being low.

The point is you actually talked on the phone.

Now there are hardly any landline phones in anyone's home, everyone carries a cell phone. Everyone but me that is I still use the landline.

Like I was saying everyone has a cell phone and what does everyone do? They text, they constantly type messages on their phones all day long, kind of like an instant email conversation, I know you remember email, email the thing that gave the US Post office the term "Snail Mail."

five young people sitting around a table texting on their cell phones
Young people texting rather than talking (Source)
Texting has all but replaced both talking on the phone and emailing, and phones are now able to do almost anything. You can text, you can compute, you can turn the lights on or off, you can start your car, you can control your TV, you can take pictures, you can even film anything from your little doggie dancing and your kids playing, to the actions of your local police department. I know a cop loves it when he is administering a field sobriety test and you stick your phone right there in his business to get a live shot for your Facebook page.

Your phone can do almost anything but wipe your rear, although I have known of a lot of cell phones landing in the toilet. My daughter has wasted more than one box of rice trying to dry out her phone, I'm here to tell you this doesn't really work, and her phone insurance has been used up on several phones.

cell phone lying in toilet bowl
Cell phone dropped into toilet (Source)
I don't really think the cell phone companies came up with water resistant and waterproof cell phones so you can film the fishes when you go diving, no I think they simply got tired of drying out phones that had been dropped into the toilet so they could sell them as refurbished.

You have to admit that people now do everything but talk on their phones. I have suggested that it's easier to call someone than to send a series of texts, but I have been told that I am wrong and I would understand if I had my own cell....

My understanding is....We now buy a phone that you do everything but talk on. Then you talk to your phone and say everything you want to say to your friend, so the phone can type it out and send a text to your friend, and they can return the text by talking to their phone so it will send a text back to you.....

Jimmy sitting in a recliner holding a cell phone in his hand while looking at it.
Me looking at Cindy's cell phone
So now rather than talk on the phone, we talk to the phone so it will text what you are saying to keep you from talking on the phone?

This is just silly in my opinion.

52 comments:

  1. I feel a little dizzy after that lol. We still have a landline and it does NOT have call display or call waiting on it. It's always a surprise when we answer the phone. We like it that way. Do you remember 'party lines'....not nearly as much fun as they sound.

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    1. Hi Delores, I had completely forgotten about the Party Lines, my Mom had one once and it seemed the other party was always using it when Mom wanted to make a call. Like you said not as fun as they sound.

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  2. I remember those old phones and I remember party lines too. Wait and wait for the old lady to get off the phone so you could make a call. What a great post to take you back to a much different time.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hello Sandee, I am surprised that I didn't think to add the party line to the post, because like you I do remember waiting for the line to be clear so you could use it, you could always tell when the other person picked up their receiver because the bell would ding on our phone ha ha

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  3. Our first phone when I was a kid was a partyline. I still remember the phone number.
    MI8-5029 that was before area codes and 8 digit numbers.

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    1. Hey Rick, isn't it funny we can remember those old phone numbers but struggle with the current ones, I do anyway.

      My Dad had an extremely easy one to remember, it was 1 2 3 4 and at that time you didn't have to dial the prefix just the 1234, I always thought that was funny.

      You will never forget that first phone number Rick, that's definitely like part of your history.

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  4. I can even recall growing up with a "party line," shared with others. It's hard to believe there was a time when you could pick up your phone and a stranger was already talking on it.

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    1. Hello Stephen, telephone technology has definitely improved since the party line, I was really impressed when they added caller id.

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    2. I remember days when people would leave their house and walk to the public phone box down the street to make calls and of course most people didn't have house phones so the calls were usually to a taxi company or something like that.

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  5. Love your old photo at the top. I have both a smart phone and 3 landlines in the house...one is actually attached to the wall and has one of those cords that get so tangled. (Try being left handed and NOT having a tangled cord. Can't happen.) I still prefer the sound quality on landlines, cells cut in and out. And I don't trust solar flares and space junk messing us up in a real emergency. I do text and find younger people will keep in touch more using texts. They can multi-task and answer at their own convenience.

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    1. Hey Jean, being left handed and using a corded phone does add up to a tangled cord I am sure, I can say I don't miss those phones, but we do keep one in the house in case of emergencies because they will work when the power is out.

      I am amazed with the younger generation who continually text and multi-task at the same time, sign of the times as my mom says :)

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  6. I have a landline & a very basic cell phone: I'm too old to text!!

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    1. Hey Fran, I have tried texting but it is much easier for me to skip the text and just make a call ha ha

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  7. I remember those phone days. I would have my friends ring once, hang up, then call back. that was my caller ID. ha.
    Just think if Text came out before voice calls, people would get a new phone and say " Cool! not only can you text each other, you can actually talk to each other!"
    Think about that for a while.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, I remember that code also, our phone would ring once or twice then stop, mom would head for the phone saying that's so and so calling then it would ring just as she got there.

      Oh yes that is food for thought if texting had come out before voice calls ha ha

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  8. I still use my landline to make calls because the reception is so much better! People drive me nuts with their cell phones. I saw a picture in the paper of a crowd of people somewhere and 80% of them were looking down at their phones. #sad

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    1. Hello Bijoux, you are right the sound quality and reception is so much better on a landline, I hope they don't become a thing of the past with the popularity of cell phones now.

      I saw a picture like you described, it is sad and I have heard people are starting to have neck problems from continually looking down at their phones...

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  9. I have a phone post coming up with similar memories. I dislike talking on the phone, conveying a message or responding with a text is great for me.

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    1. Hello Joe, I guess it's all in what you get used to and what you are comfortable with.

      Cindy's brother won't talk on the phone at all, but will sit and talk out what he wants his texts to say to the phones voice command, including punctuation..actually say comma where he wants one, and say period at the end of a sentence. That's not for me but works well for him I suppose.

      If texting is more convenient for you that is good, the biggest problem I see with the kids is they are on it 24/7 and can't seem to straighten their necks ha ha

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  10. I have a land line at the house--there is no cell service here and I'm quite content with that. I remember those party lines and how often you could hear breathing as a nosy soul would be listening in on your conversation for entertainment. We teens would try to shock them with made up stuff just to hear them gasp. That was our entertainment.

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    1. Hey Patti, I remember my mom saying "OK so and so I know you are listening, you can hang up now" when she was on the phone, you would hear the bell on our phone ding and mom would just laugh and go on with her conversation.

      That is so funny you making up stuff just to shock the ones snooping in on your calls ha ha, I wonder how much gossip was generated from this by the snooper?

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  11. I have a landline too. And it doesn't identify who is calling.
    Can you remember when calls (particularly 'long-distance' calls) were kept to a minimum because they were expensive?

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    1. Hello EC, yes I remember when all the long distance calls were listed separately on your bill with the length of the call and the toll charge, this could really run the bill up quickly.

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  12. I have a landline but I don't even know the number, it was cheaper to get the triple play package (phone, cable, internet) then to get just 2 of them, so I have one I never use. I always hated talking on the phone so I love texting, as does most of my family, including my 83 year old grandmother.

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    1. Hey Jeff, it is more cost-effective to get those packages with the phone, cable, and internet included, it sounds like your whole family is on the same page when it comes to communication.

      Good to see you Jeff.

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  13. I was raised on the telephone! My dad retired from Southwestern Bell. I never got a phone in my room, though!

    We have a land line because cell reception is not good.

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    1. Hello Val, Well I can understand that to a point, I held off as long as I could before putting a phone in my daughter's room ;)

      You would think as good as all of these cell networks are supposed to be that reception would not be a problem, but several people have mentioned this issue, it's funny that a landline is the answer, just another reason to keep one.

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  14. Some people are different. Some talk and don't text. Some text but don't talk. I'm a mixture of both.

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    1. Hey Adam, the best of both worlds my friend, it's good to have a handle on all of the technology, being a mixture of both is a good thing.

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  15. "If you wanted to know who was calling, you answered it." - That made me laugh, but it's true. I grew up with a rotary dial phone that was attached to the wall of the kitchen and had a short cord. Talk about lack of privacy!

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    1. Hey Abby, ours was on the wall in the kitchen also, the short cord limited little sister but with the long cord she could literally stretch it onto the back porch.

      I'm glad you got a laugh, things have sure changed since then haven't they?

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  16. Except for my kids, I never text. even then it's simply two or three word responses.

    What bothers me the most with cell phones is that I use to be able to remember all the phone numbers that were important to me. Now I just use the contact list, which is laziness on my part but its easier to use it than dial the wrong number which I often do because the my fingers aren't accurate enough for the keypad.

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    1. Very good point, we don't have to remember numbers anymore because the phone does that for us. The size of the pads will make it easy for mistakes when dialing though, I can see that happening.

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  17. Right there is an excellent reason to never take your phone into the bathroom (*~*)
    I dislike taking on the phone because if people mumble or have accents, I can't understand them well enough. I used to blame it on my poor hearing, but I recently found out via a hearing test that my hearing is almost normal. I do still prefer face to face talking so I can see the lips moving and understand better. Also with texting a message you get time to think what you are saying and correct any mistakes before you send the message.
    I still have my old cordless landline, it isn't connected and probably doesn't work anymore, but it's pretty so I keep it on the shelf. My cell phone lives in the corner of the couch behind a cushion. Sometimes I take it out with me, sometimes I forget. it certainly isn't glued to my hand like some people I know.
    Have you ever noticed how eerily quiet it now is when teens are gathered together, all texting instead of talking? Or perhaps they're all playing phone games, but still, it disconcerts me to see them so quiet, and not looking where they are going either.

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    1. Hello River, I had kept an old cordless phone for a while, stored it in the closet, but it would never take a charge again when I tried to use it.

      Our sons are very hard to understand on the phone, but no problem face to face, so I can see what you are saying there, having time to review and make corrections is a pro on texting.

      I have noticed the strange quietness within the groups now, I once asked my daughter who she was texting during a family gathering, she was texting her cousin who was sitting across from her, I guess this is the way they whisper now.

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  18. *dislike talking* not *taking*

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  19. I have a landline because I have to for work. When I quit working, the landline will be gone. I don't give the number to anyone but we get a lot of calls on it. Apparently Thelma and Lennie Lang owed a lot of people when they had the phone number. I actually detest talking on the phone and wouldn't even have a phone except I know it is needed for potential emergencies. I've gotten a lot of sad/terrible/horrific news by phone. I dread answering it (don't on our landline, let the machine get it) but in the past would answer phones filled with trepidation wondering what news I would hear. I like to text but not really carry on a conversation with texting, just to ask a simple question "are you coming over to dinner tonight?" etc. The joke is in our household is son/family knows not to text/call me because 9/10 times I don't have the cell phone with me or don't have it turned out to hear it in which case they will call/test hubby (unless it is son asking to borrow money and then he'll hold out and try to catch me directly on my phone :)

    I think the saddest thing I've seen is families at restaurants eating out and everyone is on their phone or devices and no one is talking. One night a few months ago at Olive Garden I was fascinated by a family of 4 that were actually engaged with each other during dinner and no technology was involved. I might have people watched a bit with them.

    The rule at our house when family is over is no phones at the table.

    betty

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    1. Hi Betty, it is always unnerving to me also when the phone rings later in the evening or late at night, normally not good news.

      Very good point on texting, there is a big difference between sending a quick message as opposed to carrying on a conversation, I don't see a problem with sending messages, but carrying on a conversation I couldn't handle through a text.

      I think your no phones at the table rule is excellent, it is sad to think a family sitting in a restaurant talking amongst themselves with no electronic devices in sight is out of the normal, but we are getting there.

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  20. 'My understanding is....We now buy a phone that you do everything but talk on. Then you talk to your phone and say everything you want to say to your friend, so the phone can type it out and send a text to your friend, and they can return the text by talking to their phone so it will send a text back to you.....'

    Oh my, I can't stop laughing, and yes it's soooooo true. All of it.
    I've been told that new iphones are waterproof but I won't chuck mine in the loo to find out. My first iphone visited the loo - just fell out of my pocket! It made me more careful. Excuse me, I'm off now to try dictating on the phone... I mean, I have a friend who is desperate to hear from me!!!

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    1. Good morning Valerie, I am happy to hear that you learned the first time your phone took the plunge how to prevent this, I have seen many others who it took more than once to keep this from happening, I agree with you on the waterproof phone, I'm not going to dunk it to try it out.

      Let me know how your dictating session goes, I am sure that friend is nervously waiting on your text.

      It's always good to see you Valerie.

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  21. First of all that is a great photo of you on the phone, you were a very cute kid. Jimmy, this is so true and had me smiling the whole way through. Not so long ago I was driving by the high school and had to wait at the light. Every young person who was crossing the road, half a dozen or so, had their heads down looking or texting on their cell phones. I didn't know whether to shake my head or laugh out loud. I think I may have done both. And we have only touched the tip of the iceberg technology wise.

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    1. Hey Denise, Thank you so much my friend. I am happy that you enjoyed this post, I can't believe so many people can't put their phones away long enough to walk down the street, but you are beginning to see this everywhere.

      You are so right the majority of the technology that we are seeing now is in it's infancy and will most likely be replaced soon with bigger and better things so to say.

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  22. This is a topic that I can totally relate to, and you're right, things sure have changed. I was certainly guilty of calling people and ordering pizza's, or pretending to be someone else. I talked on the phone so much, that my mom had to put a lock on that rotary phone so she could at least get a few calls in during the day. I'm still one of the few people who actually have a
    landline, and I like it. If people wanted to reach you, they called you at home. Now you get calls in the mall, the doctor's office, school and even church. Technology is good in some instances, but give me the old-fashioned days. Totally love this post! Hugs...

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    1. Hey RO, your description took me back to that house in SC where I grew up, it looks like you grew up doing the same things we did ha ha.

      I remember a time when you got into your car or truck to get away from the phone, now as soon as you get into your car it rings through your radio speakers, I agree technology is good in some instances but I think you have to be able to step away at times.

      Good to see you my friend.

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  23. Love the photo of you on the phone.

    I know times change but I do wonder are these changes always for the best.
    I worry about the young who cannot go anywhere without their phone in hand.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan, my Mom sent that picture to me along with several others not long ago, I just had to use it here.

      I agree times change, and with those changes some are good and bad, the bad thing with the new phones is the dependency of our kids on them.

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  24. When our youngest son was about 10 or so, we visited the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. They had one of those rotary phones, and my husband commented that that's what he grew up with. So youngest son stared at it for a bit and then asked, "How does it work? You stick your finger into the hole and push it down?" Hahahaha. We explained to him how it worked, and the next question out of his mouth was if you had to do the same thing in elevators to select a floor.

    I text a lot more than I talk, probably because it's less annoying to the people around me. I text my husband in the morning when I get to work, and none of my co

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  25. ...and none of my co-workers have to listen to a boring conversation.

    (Sorry...the first part of my comment inadvertently published all by itself!)

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    1. I would have liked to have seen the look on his face as he tried to make sense of that rotary phone, that elevator reference was priceless too.

      Texting in the situation you described is perfect in my opinion, that's how texting should be used.

      I have had similar issues in the past, a comment duplicates itself without my knowledge ha ha

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  26. I don't have a mobile/cell phone and we do have a land line in the house. I don't text. Personally I try to avoid all phones. :D

    Just to rock the boat. ;)

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    1. Hi Joey, that's a good way to rock the boat too, with everything being somewhat tied to a cell phone in one way or another, I think you are on to something my friend ;)

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