I’m ancient enough to remember way back to the 1930s, when telephones were dial rotary desk and wall models. They were big, heavy, the earpiece was a horn-like object, and everthing was attached to wires.
The ugly things were also in public phone booths, and you had to drop in a nickel before dialing. In addition to the person you called, a nosy phone company employee listened in. After each couple of minutes, you had to put in another nickel or the phone would go dead.
Even more memories of the Depression era was when no one in our neighborhood had a home phone. Calls came in at the corner store’s pay phone. A messenger kid (for a nickel tip) climbed to your fourth-floor walk-up and led you down to the store, There, with everyone gawking and eavesdropping, you heard Aunt Tillie’s tearful call that Uncle Velvel had expired.
Things have changed a hell of a lot since then. Back in those days, if you strolled down the street talking to yourself, they’d commit you in the funny farm. Now, walkers talk, listen and stare mindlessly into little boxes and tiny mikes, seemingly blind to everything around them. They bump into each other on sidewalks, cross against lights into busy traffic and drive the roads while mindlessly gabbing into the little box.
The most annoying innovation is that all the snarky little phones are also cameras. Whenever at an entertainment event, sports stadium, restaurant, museum or any other people-gathering, it’s insanity. All I see are hundreds of idiots pointing those little boxes at everyone and everything. Worst of all they also point the things at their own grimacing faces. Heaven help us! We’re butt deep in the selfie epidemic!
I must admit I’ve tried some of the latest SmartPhones, with little success. My confused and aged mind refuses to learn how to fully comprehend what four-year-old kids learn instantly.
I’m also particularly at odds with the tiny stick-it-in-your-earphones. All they do is cause me to ache, itch and scratch, a constant reminder of my growing old age deafness. I continue to use a ten-year-old cell phone, and it works just fine as long as I recharge it at least every ten minutes.