Saturday 3 May 2014

The Times They Are A Changin'

Not even Bob Dylan could have imagined the changes technology would bring to ordinary households, when he recorded that song.

There was the miracle of the cordless phone. ~

The convenience of being able to take the phone anywhere in the house was only slightly diminished by the kids that never put it back on the cradle to recharge.  Hard wiring was replaced by phone jacks in every room and you could have the base unit wherever you wanted. There were answering machines, then voice mail, caller display and call waiting.  You never missed a call.

The monopoly Ma Bell had on phone service was broken when wireless hubs brought new service providers.  This hub handled my home phone and Internet.  And, I had a cell phone that travelled with me wherever I went! ~

Let me interject a little warning here for folks who will be away from home a few weeks on holiday.  When I switched to wireless, I kept my Bell system for a month in case wireless didn't work out. For four weeks I never used the old phone system, but left it plugged into the wall sockets.

It was the usual transformer type of plug. ~

I noticed  a buzzing sound and pulled the plug out.  What a shock to see scorch marks from where it was about to catch fire! ~

A check of the second unit showed the same thing.  It appears they overcharge and overheat when the phone isn't used.  So, be sure to unplug those things when you are away!

The old cell phone was replaced by a smartphone. ~

Which brings me to last week, when all of this ~


 was replaced by these two, little units.  That's it folks. That's all there is. ~

No wires and no finding a good reception spot in the house.  Those two units and a laptop and I'm never, never out of touch with everyone and everything.

Sometimes I wish we still just had one of these. ~

If it rang when you weren't in the house, you never knew.  No one was offended that you didn't return their call.  The caller just let the phone ring and ring until they got tired of waiting for you to answer and called back later. How would you know they had called you?  It was wired into the wall and you had the perfect excuse for ending the call because you had to go check on dinner, the crying baby or the dog whining to go out.  The world kept right on turning if you missed a call while you sat out in the yard.  There was no need to check it for weather reports, facebook updates or breaking news.  What a time saver that old darling was!

Best of all, when it wasn't working you called the phone company and they sent a man out to fix it. They didn't ask if the problem was inside the house or outside.  You weren't expected to know. You didn't take it to a superstore and try to decipher what someone the age of your grandkids was telling you to do to fix it.

Heck, you could even fix the cord yourself with a little electrical tape. ~

"The present now will soon be the past", Dylan tells us and I really hope the next phase isn't a wireless chip embedded in my ear!


  1. Enjoyed your post. I haven't reached the new cell phone/portable internet connection yet. Makes me think of my first computer (heavy, text only email and SLOW). Now I use a mini ipad to reading blogs, sending mail, etc and it takes pictures too.

  2. Oh- Yes- such amazing changes. Our grandkids will never hear a "real" phone ring in their house. They will never be tethered by a line that keeps them in a 4 foot range of cord. Amazing, isn't it? xo Diana

  3. Well, I don't have a cell phone or call waiting...I do have call display, used to detect those pesky 1-800 numbers (oh and of course a computer) I missing out? I don't think so! This is me...leave a msg. Cathy

  4. My son said soon there will be a chip in the head for a phone and I said that I hope I'm gone when that starts to happen:)

  5. It's scary actually how quickly technology has changed...or is time just speeding up as we grow older? Whichever...they're both scary!

  6. Oh I too miss the good ole phone days. I always wanted a turquoise princess phone.

  7. It looks like you had a close call with your old plug in phone Maureen. I've never heard of that happening before. We still have 3 cordless phones in the house that we use and also and old "land line" that we keep plugged in just incase the power goes off. The cordless ones won't work with a power outage. Of course I still have my cell phone. lol Now I really don't know why we keep the cordless one! Maybe it's time to 'let it go'. Thanks for the warning. Have a great week. Pam

  8. Woot you got an iphone, you can facetime :) that's a big change from the old days. I have to admit I was against getting the iphone thought it was a waste and teased Jules who lined up for the first one. Now I have the iphone and an ipad and they're in constant use for everything but a phone. There is a joke in my family that I should run witness security because I can never be found (when trying to ring)

    I did love the old phones I remember nothing better than being a teen and slamming down the phone on my parents, my kids can only end a call, it doesn't have quite the same effect.

  9. Oh I can so relate to this Maureen. Last year we got rid of our land line since everyone in the house has their own phone. Certainly it is not working out to be cheaper than one land line and I do admit that I miss all those phone calls that came in for my kids, kind of kept me in the loop. Now, I have no idea of a certain part of their lives and like you say, I am sometimes "too reachable". I remember when my mom bought us the "princess" model of phone from Bell and I was so happy that they put one in their bedroom. I would go in there and talk on that thing for ages to all my girlfriends.
    But, I love my iphone. I still let it ring and head to voice mail...

  10. Yikes, thanks for the warning. I used to love laying on the dining room floor, talking on the phone and picking the stippletone (is that the right word?) bumps off the wall as a teenager. Eventually that one spot was nearly bare (how do parents tolerate that sort of thing?lol).

  11. Oh, I dream of the days when I was unreachable and when everyone didn't know what I was doing at any given time! On the other hand, we feel much safer with our cell phones when on the road. Thanks for the memories.

  12. When I was with the old geezer, we took his daughter to a great museum and she picked up the handle on one of those old phones and said 'what do I do now'. She had absolutely no idea how to dial a number, it was so strange to us. She was 14 !
    Having said that, I often ask the teenagers at work how I use my own phone. When I was at school, I remember being excited at the prospect of using a calculator !

  13. Great post Maureen! I don't have a cell phone, an ipad, an ipod, or call waiting ( and probably a few other things that I don't even know about) and I don't want any of it. I don't consider myself a holdout. I just don't need to be or want to be plugged in every second of the day, wires or no wires. We do have an answering machine so messages can be left, and call display so we don't have to pick up telemarketing calls. I think technology is great, but we should each be able to choose the technology that works for us. I've been looking for a vintage rotary dial phone for my home office for awhile now. I just love the look.

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  15. I love the old rotary phones!! But I love my smart phone more. :)


  16. I love the rotary dial phones. I just sold a turquoise one. But I must say I have a great deal of affection for my iPhone.

  17. Ah yes, the good ol' days, indeed! Kinda like that philosophical/scientific question, 'If a tree falls in the forest and and there's nobody around to hear it, does it still make a noise?'. And so, I ask you, when you were young, and the phone rang in your house, if there was nobody around to hear it, did you still have to call people back? This one isn't that difficult - NO!

    Enjoyed this little history lesson of 'Communications 101'! Thanks for sharing, Maureen! Oops, gotta land line is ringing, my inbox is full, my cell is messaging, and someone's at the door!

    P.S. Definitely need to unplug!