Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The end of an era

So yesterday I had an unexpected trip to the hospital for an ultrasound on my legs (apparently it's not normal for your toes to turn blue after surgery :) ) On my way out of the hospital I found this. The empty casing. It's all that is left of the pay phone the location the hospital emergency room.

In todays age of technology I realized how much we just assume everyone is "up with the times." and the typical assumption is made that "everyone has a cellphone" (at least that's what my 14 y.o. daughter tells me.) I found out how much everyone assumed this trying to look for a pay phone a couple of months ago. My cell phone had died, my car charger wasn't working. It was down pouring rain and my mom was trying to call me with a grocery list. I had to drive to several different gas stations before even finding one before realized I didn't have change in my purse to call (know what it's like to have to rummage around on the floor of the van to find enough change to call (which BTW isn't a dime or even a quarter anymore its up to $.35) Thankfully it was a short call and I didn't get to hear the operator's voice say "please deposit twenty-five cents for another 3 minutes"

I also ran into this recently trying to get a "gmail" account with google. My children have one and I wanted to avoid my current account (too many ads.) Well apparently I cannot apply for an account unless I give them my cell phone number so they can "text" me the activation code. I have a cell phone but don't have text service (I have to pay per text) so I would have to pay to get the activation code for the "free email" meaning it's no longer free. So I tried to contact them about "what to do about it" their suggestion....ask a friend or family member if you can use their cell phone to receive the text... WHAT??? I don't generally give out my cell unless it's to someone I really want to get a hold of me why in the world would I want to give out my number to a mega corporation. (That tells you upfront it stores the number for later.)

These experiences leave me wondering, what about those that don't choose to carry a phone? How do they make a call at the hospital? I guess that doesn't matter "everyone" has a cell phone. What about those that can't receive text messages, I guess they don't get the benefit of gmail... and well you can always bug your friends to let them use their to receive a text. And then the ultimate what happens when you cell phone dies, I guess you'll find yourself driving around in the rain praying there is a one of those dying breeds of communication from yesteryear the public pay phone.

So here's to the pay phone. Once the only way of communication on the road, now just a long lost ago relative of more "modern" forms of communication!


  1. Ok I totally agree with you. I had the same experience a time or two.

  2. what a rough day! hope your toes are better! I wonder if we will be seeing a pay phone in a museum in the near future?

    Come by my blog! I'm having a giveaway!


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