I remember a long time ago when everything was so different. Before the information age. Before people had instant everything. If you had a phone, it was a home phone attached to a land line, a wire, maybe even a party line you shared with someone. We had a party line as late as 1975. It was the farm next door, 40 acres away. It wasn’t much of a hardship. They were never on the phone when we were.
It was a big deal when we bought an answering machine. Remember those that had a full size cassette tape in them to record the messages? Then came the micro cassettes, those little tiny ones. If you weren’t home and someone called, they could leave a message. You’d get home and see the light blinking and pressed whichever button and listened to whoever called you and what they had to say.
Time marched on and with that, the advent of the cordless phone, right in your own home, and the messages were left on nothing! There was no tape, cassette or mini cassette, and the messages were just there! How did they do that? Those were the days I tell you. How can that be improved upon? You could leave the home when you were waiting from a call from the
I didn’t get a remote phone until around 1994. They came out with these bulky units, called analog phones, that you plugged into a socket at home, or into a cigarette lighter in your vehicle. Either way, they were powered up and you could call out and receive calls. Besides the power cord, the handset was attached just like a corded phone at home. I remember having mine on the floor of the pickup truck. I’d talk on the phone and it looked like a regular Ma Bell Princess. One time I even picked it up and pretended to be talking to show off for the car next to me. What a hoot!
Then it happened. The cell phone. And it has gone nuts ever since. Apps, internet, voicemail, cameras, TV, Radio, MP3, calculator, texting, you name it, it does it. Hell, I found one that will give you a haircut and even make a phone call!
I want the good old days back. Really. As I age, I get more and more of those nostalgic e-mails that remind us of the bygone days when things were cheaper and we didn’t have the rules, guidelines, regulations and morals that we are held to now. A loaf of bread was a quarter and a candy bar was five cents! (Really youngsters, five cents!)
I’m at the grocery store, my phone rings. I’m at the coffee shop, my phone rings. I’m in church, my phone rings. The other day was in front of the coffee shop and an elderly woman was with her daughter. As they walked into the shop, the daughter's cell phone rang. The ring was a popular tune, the Doors, I think, Break on Through (to the other side). The woman looked startled and wondered where the music was coming from and had no idea it was a phone call. A ringing phone is neither in my opinion
In fact, I’m in bed sleeping, my phone rings. Well, that one is okay since I use the cell phone as a home phone, of course it would ring while I am at home. I guess I could leave the phone home on the charger and check it to see if anyone left me a message when I got home. That would mimic the era when we bought an answering machine. Is that too much?
Another change was the added caller ID option at home with a little device, and automatically built in on the cell phones these days. It’s like the radar detectors with the highway patrol. You get a new detector, they get a new type of radar. One is always thwarting each other’s efforts and the game goes on and on. Caller ID is like that too. You block your number or name so when you call, the receiver of the call can’t see who it is. It comes up as “Unknown”. Then that person has an option that doesn’t accept calls from unknown callers, and so on and so on.
Don’t get me started. Junk or spam calls, which used to be called telemarketing, which we always got as soon as we sat down at the dinner table, seem to be less when the cell phone is used as a home phone, but I still get a few calls to sell me something or a text message telling me that there is a great real estate opportunity available if I text them back or call the 1-800 number. Florida swamp land still for sale. I guess it hasn’t all been sold.
In fact, every corporation that I do business with, for phone service, for satellite TV, for credit, for anything, has sent me a notice with page upon page of small print that explains to me that they are going to send my personal information to a third party so they can spam me on the internet and call me on my phone, (they don’t word it that way, but that’s what it is), unless I “Opt out”, and to do this, it is action on my part. Otherwise, they are going to sell my information.
It is too late to stop the juggernaut. We’re all pretty much in this system. If you’re reading this on your own computer or even if you are at a library and have a personal e-mail account, your information is out there somewhere. I sometimes think that I’ll give it all up. Get rid of the computers, the TV, the cell phones, all of it. Pay my bills by bringing cash to the office for the utility bills in town and send a money order for the mortgage. Better yet, get off the grid and live in a tent up in Mendocino County!
That ought to do it. There, now I’m safe. Wait, there’s a knock at the door. Just a minute........................... How about that? It was the Fuller Brush salesman, and behind himv the Kirby salesman. How’d they know I needed some housekeeping tools and equipment?