My Life — in Telephones

29 Jan

I was born in 1957. Yeah, yeah, I’m old. Hubby and I decided to take a giant leap of faith and get rid of our land line, in favor of an iPhone. Our children and their friends (thirty-somethings) often tease us about how much we DON’T know about our new phones, and tend to roll their eyes whenever we ask for help with a new ‘App’. I’m pretty sure they’re snickering behind our backs. My grandson had to show me how to use a feature on my phone the other day. He’s FOUR. 

You really can’t imagine what a learning curve Baby Boomers face when using new technology. Computers are another behemoth challenge, but let’s concentrate JUST on phones for now. I’m going to give you a visual of how foreign an iPhone can be by showing you where I started from.

oldphoneThis is the first phone I remember. It hung on the wall of our cottage. We were on a country party line, which meant we shared the line with other people. We each had our own special ring. Ours was ‘one long, two short’. You picked up the receiver on the left, then turned the crank on the right side the appropriate length and number of times. If you were lucky, nobody else on the line listened in on your conversation. Sometimes when you picked up the receiver, there was somebody already on the line, and you had to wait your turn. 

At our home in the city, we owned a dial phone, which came in basic black, along with other colors like avocado dial phonegreen and harvest gold. If you were in a hurry dialing could be annoying, since it took a while. Being a teenager during the 70’s, my pointer finger would actually become sore if I tried to make too many calls at once. 

pinkprincessphoneI desperately wanted a pink ‘Princess’ phone for my bedroom, but my parents wouldn’t let me. Meanies. Which meant I had to use the phone in the kitchen, where everyone could hear my conversations. Not that I had anything to hide, but still …

Along with the 80’s came the push button phone, which featured various updates as we entered the 90’s:

pbphone80s phone1cordlessphonenewphonenewer phone

Somewhere during this time period, I don’t remember exactly when, phones became increasingly more complicated, i.e. cordless, handsfree, with built-in answering machines, volume control, internal phone books and backlit displays to tell you who was calling. I should have realized it was only going to get worse. cellphone

Enter the cell phone. It underwent an incredible evolution in features, function and size since its first introduction. Now it has so many features it’s called ‘Smart’. It’s not just a phone, it’s a camera, a journal, a day planner, a music player, a book, a game, a social secretary, your constant companion, your friend.

iphoneI can’t imagine my life without my iPhone. If it’s ever stolen or lost, I’ll have to go into therapy. What did we ever do before this thing? Hubby and I carry our phones wherever we go. Communication is effortless. Sometimes we don’t even bother calling. We text. We live in a three story home. If he’s in the basement, and I’m on the top floor in my office, we text each other rather than walk up the stairs. Despite our humble beginnings, we Baby Boomers are now products of the Technological Revolution. I hope you’re all happy.

And cut us some slack about our lack of techno-savvy. Remember where we came from.

14 Responses to “My Life — in Telephones”

  1. judyalter January 29, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    Nancy, I’m quite a bit older than you but I don’t remember the crank wall phone–our cottage had no electricity nor running water so obviously no phone! But I remember all the other versions, but there was never a thought of a phone in my room. My parents’ bedroom had one, and the downstairs phone was by the coat closet–oh the hours I spent in that closet! I don’t give up my land line because i don’t hear well and cell phones are hard for me. But I loved your account and I feel techie challenge you do.

    • nancyelauzon January 29, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

      We’ve come a long way, baby! Thanks for stopping by, Judy. 🙂

  2. kathleenkaskawrites January 29, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    All I have to say is that my Smart Phone is smarter than me. I tried to connect my iPhone 5 emails with my hotmail account. Now whenever I get a email, my iPhone buzzes. I can’t figure out how to fix it and it’s driving me crazy. I remember party lines, too. I also remember folks (not me) listening in on the conversations of their neighbors. I guess you could say it was an early version of trying to steal someone’s identify.

    • nancyelauzon January 29, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      There were no secrets, back then, LOL. You should grab a four-year old and tell him about the problem with your phone. He’ll help you.

  3. Joanne January 29, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    Great blog Nancy…I can so relate! I remember listening in on my grandmother’s neighbours calls on her party line, stretching the phone cord on our kitchen phone into the living room for some privacy and yelling for a sibling to let me use the phone when they talked too long. I, too am so hooked on my iPhone that I get jittery when I don’t have it nearby or even when the battery is running low! I’m happy that we are young enough to learn how to use the newest technology and old enough to appreciate how far we have come!

    • nancyelauzon January 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      I know, I have to say I’m proud of myself that I’ve learned so much. Some of my peers are very stubborn when it comes to embracing new technology. But if you can’t fight em, join em!

  4. rblerner2013 January 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    We have to have a land line because my husband has a “life alert” (not the right name) from the VA) so he can signal if he needs 911.

    • nancyelauzon January 30, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      We found that having both was too expensive… thanks for stopping by!

  5. Jewel Divas Style January 30, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Don’t feel bad, I only got my first iPod in 2012 and my iPhone in 2013.

    The cost was always the issue. Ten years ago when the iPod came out it was $400 AUD and only had 1000 songs. A few years later they had 5000 then 10000 and I got mine for $268 AUD, I also got a Touch for $198 or something.

    My phone was a matter of waiting to find the best company who had the most gb for the least amount of money. Within 6 months I had to change providers and the amount was cut. Sucks, but at least I have one!

    • nancyelauzon January 30, 2014 at 3:24 am #

      Yeah, the longer you wait the cheaper the technology gets, LOL!

  6. Denise Hansen January 31, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Love it! I watch a lot of older movies and TV series on Netflix, I can usually date them by the phones (remember when flip tops were cutting edge). My husband (who works in a bank) had one of those enormous walky-talky cell phones. Oh – from your Acadia University pal – being born in 1957 does not make us old… (LOL).

    • nancyelauzon February 2, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Thanks, Denise! Yeah, it’s funny how the technology in movies dates them. Same with my books. When I wrote my first few books, there was no such thing as Facebook 😉

  7. 4amWriter February 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    I don’t know if you ever watched the Lethal Weapon movies, but there was a funny scene in the final (I think it was the final) movie where Joe Pesci and Chris Rock were making fun of the dial telephones. They joked about how chancy it was to dial anything with a 9 in it because it took forever, and if you made a mistake, what a pain it was to start over. I totally remember that issue with dial phones!

    • nancyelauzon February 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

      Ha, I’d forgotten that, but you’re so right!!

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