Life Before Cell Phones

By Rebeka Knott

If you remember life before cell phones and electronics, you probably possess the ability to entertain yourself (if necessary) and relate to what you are about to read. Prior to society being electronically enlightened, people relied on their own abilities to remain mentally active and socially engaged. There was no texting so having a conversation actually required the spoken word. Somewhere along the line, society decided that it was necessary for constant and instant gratification,

Ideally, the world would revolve around you and meet your every need, including 24/7 entertainment. Sadly, that is not, and was never the case! If you wanted to talk to a neighbor, you walked to their house and knocked on the door. If you wanted to communicate with someone that was not a neighbor, you called them on the family’s ONLY rotary dial, landline telephone, which usually had a cord that could stretch around the block, or sent them a handwritten letter; affixed a $.05 postage stamp and deposited it into a U.S. Mailbox, which could be found on any corner. There was no immediate gratification and we eagerly awaited a response. There were no cell phones so if you wanted to call someone, they had to be home to answer the phone; unless of course, they were already talking to someone else in which case you got a busy signal. Party lines were not uncommon but it was a pleasure to have your own line. 

Years later, call-waiting was invented allowing you to take a call when you were already on the phone. Even more mind-blowing than that, answering machines and caller ID came along and then you knew who was calling you; giving you the ability to decide if you wanted to answer or return a call you may have missed!