Phones — Back Then

cell phones (photo by Wendy Kennar)

I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but the other night my husband, son, and I were talking about the ways phones have changed over the years.  To put things into perspective, my husband and I are forty; cell phones didn’t become a regular part of our lives until we were adults.  Whereas the first iPhone came out in 2007, and our son was born in 2008, which makes him a member of the generation that is growing up with cell phones as a permanent part of their daily lives. 

My first cell phone was about the size of a brick.  My parents gave it to me with strict instructions that it was to be used only in the event of an emergency.  At the time, I was a college student without a car.  My daily commute required six buses and a round-trip commuting time of between 3 1/2 and 4 hours.  The cell phone was supposed to be a bit of a safety precaution; luckily I never used it.

Before that, when I lived with my parents, our home phones used to be firmly planted in place.  There was one that hung on the kitchen wall, and even with an extra-long phone cord, you could only pull the phone so far.  It was a big deal in our family when we added a wireless phone in the living room.  Suddenly, you were given freedom and the opportunity to move about while on the phone.

But then our memories took us back to Rotary dial phones, and we tried to describe to our son the rotating-motion involved with dialing “back then.”

For our eight-year-old son, “back then” may seem like a long time ago.  For my husband and I, it really doesn’t seem like that long ago when we were eight years old.  And the surprising/shocking/scary thing is how quickly technology changes, and as a result, our lives. 

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