My article for Sunday ran in Thursday's paper, and is below. Hope that you enjoy it, especially if you remember the things that I do!
Recently our cell phone provider called us (for the 157th time) to let us know that we can upgrade our phones. You see my phone is 2 years old, and is a flip phone. Operation of this phone is simple and I did not need to attend a class to learn how to use my phone. Call me out of date, behind the times, or old fashioned, it doesn’t matter to me. My phone has a few ringtones and my daughter taught me how to text, that is enough.
The current fascination with phones does not impress me. Young people would be crippled without these devices. They would have to figure out how to speak and communicate face to face with actual human beings. They would have to type using more than their thumbs. Remember manual typewriters? That is how my generation learned to type.
My daughter and I were talking about phones and how they have changed in her lifetime. Laughing I told her that we had party lines during my early teen years. You had to listen for a dial tone before dialing. The other “parties” on your line could be using the phone. This was before the private lines that we now enjoy and dialing direct. She asked what dialing direct was. I explained that we dialed 0 and talked to the operator to call long distance. She was amazed that such an antiquated means of communication had actually existed. I felt another line creep across my face and the arthritis began to kick in.
“That is awful to have had a party line! How did you handle that as a teenager?” she asked me. I told her that it was easier than rounding up the dinosaur and riding over to the cave of the person that you wanted to talk to. My offspring paused for a moment; trying to decide if that was true.
In the meantime, we have no interest in our provider’s fancy phones. My phone works, for now, and it does what it needs to do. As long as it continues to work, that is good enough. If I need something to sing and dance, well I can do that for myself, and without a contract! Now if you will excuse me, I have a dinosaur to deal with, that old flip phone is ringing.