Friday, January 23, 2009

Telephone - You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

In 1973 I began my addiction with the telephone. We had just moved across town and I had to learn to dial the rotary phone, a wall-mounted beast we rented from Mountain Bell, all by myself so I could call my friends from the old neighborhood. It was a chore to dial this phone, with my teensy-tiny 9 year old fingers. You stuck your finger in the hole of the number you wanted and had to rotate it all the way around the circle until it touched the metal stopping bar. If you were careless and didn't dial all the way to the end, you had to start all over. To hang up, you pulled down on the bracket that held the hand receiver. (I know, I am really dating myself!)
We thought we were so special when our parents upgraded the technology with the extra long twisty cord for the phone. You could actually walk around while you were talking on the phone, as long as you were within twelve feet of that big black thing on the wall.
Meanwhile, while I was walking around the kitchen with my 12 foot cord talking about things 9 year old girls find important enough to talk about, this man, Dr. Martin Cooper, general manager of Motorola's Communications Systems Division, was walking the streets of New York and making a call on this 30 ounce brick-like phone. Who did he call? His rival at AT&T Bell Labs.

By the time Motorola offered their phone to the public in 1983 it went from brick to butter at only 16 ounces, but cost $3,500. A new Dodge RAM 50 Truck was $5665.00 - a phone was over HALF the cost of a truck!!!!!! I wonder if any teenagers had cell phones in 1983?

Today, the technology in phones has blossomed to functions probably never imagined, even by Dr. Cooper. Did he imagine a camera that could take a message, a picture and a video clip? Did he imagine listening to music or playing a game? Did he imagine that teens would use the phone for almost everything BUT actually making a phone call?

Special achievement - Rebekah just memorized her home phone number. She is using Daddy's cell phone to call the home phone. Proud moment in our household.

Special Achievement - Bethany gets her first cell phone! She is 18 and waited patiently, almost, for this special privilege. Expensive moment in our household. We aren't typical Americans, we actually have two teenagers that DON'T have phones. No, it is NOT child abuse.

Texting already? It is considered a national pasttime for today's teens, but considered a national waste of time for more mature adults. OK, that was a nice way of saying us really old people.
Special Achievement - Scott is learning to program his own cell phone. Stressful moment in our household. Actually, he made Grace do a lot of it, but he figured out how to make a call and answer a call. Good boy!
Special Achievement - Brookelyn made it all the way down the hallway with the cordless phone before we noticed what she was doing. Typical moment in our household when Brookie is around.

Special Achievement - Brookelyn called Gramma and asked for a cell phone of her own.
Gramma said yes.

1 comment:

  1. Delightful.
    At least to us "more mature" folks.
    Ivan got to the bathtub with Josiah's cordless (not the same time he called 911). Yes, he through it in.


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