Life Before Cell Phones

Life Before Cell Phones

I feel like I grew up in a time where we were on the cusp of "the old world" and the new, like a sort of Life BT, or life before technology. Of course technology has always existed and changed throughout history, but in terms of the modern technology we are absorbing today at an insane rate of turnover, I think our generation was the last to really know a life before these things became a thing. I remember being in the third grade in Girl Scouts and receiving a miniature homemade first aid kit made from a recycled pill bottle. In the bottom of this kit with its band-aids, and gauze, was a single quarter. Why would one "need" a quarter in a first aid kit you may be wondering?

Life Before Cell Phones

Because way back in those ancient dark times, if there was an emergency and you weren't inside near a landline, you would have to run and find a payphone, which required you to pay a quarter + in order to make a call. Can you imagine? We don't really think about this now, but if say your uncle was having a heart attack, you had to choose right then and there if you knew CPR to try to do that or if you didn't or it wasn't working, you would have to leave him there to go, run, and find a pay phone (which emergency aside, always seemed to be covered in the absolute filth of humanity).

Life Before Cell Phones

Here are some other ways life was different before the advent of cell phones.

1. You would forever wonder where someone was if they were late because in a car or walking around some place unfamiliar or without payphones, they had no ability to call you. Definitely scary if it had been hours and you just didn't know their whereabouts and couldn't ping their phone. You could however definitely be late to work or any other event because traffic or whatever else excuse you had because no one could actually verify that like your boss or friends could today.

2. What Uber? What ability to call a cab any time, any place? Your butt had to get out on the curb and try to hail a cab.

3. When people went to Woodstock or any other concert, people were there for the real authentic experience of getting to see their favorite musicians without trying to vlog it, or holding their phone up the whole time watching the actual concert they were in through the screen to make sure the image was stable, while blocking everyone's view behind them.

Life Before Cell Phones

4. You had to actually shop around...in person, if you wanted the best deal. You couldn't just google search the lowest price of something, or you go to one store and your friend another, and just call to see which store has the lower price. You had to actually spend hours hunting for bargains which meant, sometimes stores could take advantage of you.

5. This was the golden era of the house party where your parents would go out of town, and you'd throw a rager, and clean in all up. Your neighbor couldn't rat you out by phone, nor could your parents just show up early, pre-phone tracking, and discover what you were doing. Good times!

6.When people went out to eat, everyone was actually there in the room talking to one another. There weren't heads down buried in phones texting other people. People actually had to communicate with one another in real time.

Life Before Cell Phones

7. No one could call you and bother you on your vacation. How could they even find you out on the lake with your family? LOL

8. We had to carry around these huge Key Maps or paper maps to find out where we were going. I remember this map thing vividly as a kid because on a vacation, we got lost at night, had to stop the car on the side of the road, turn on the car light, and try to navigate our way to the hotel and if you couldn't do that, find the nearest gas station to try and figure out how to get some place. I mean, seriously, can you imagine that now?!?

9. Let this sink in. There...was...no...filter. In fact, you had to carry around an actual camera, take a photo, you couldn't edit it, and then it would be a couple days to a week before you could get your photo back because you had to take it to get it developed, meaning someone else got a good look at all your private pictures. Nothing was in real time. You probably went on that awesome trip or saw a celebrity 6 weeks ago before anyone else knew about it.

Life Before Cell Phones

10. A trip to the airport meant long lines of everyone trying to fumble around and find their hard copy tickets, unearth their IDs, deal with screaming toddlers who weren't being entertained by games on phones, standing in front of screens inside the airport to figure out if flights or people had arrived on time, no ability to text people to ask where they were....you had to walk or drive around and try to find them yourself, dear God!

11. People actually made plans and had to stick to them. If you said meet me at the stadium at 6, they had to meet you because there was no way they could cancel at the last second and if they didn't show, you assumed there was an actual emergency which there usually was, as opposed to they just didn't feel like coming.

12. I say had to, but the reality is, you called and talked to people because you wanted to and got to hear their voices because you wanted to. You could get a better sense of context vs. a text where things can easily be misinterpreted.

Life Before Cell Phones

There are a lot of ways cell phones have improved our lives and made things less difficult or better for us, but I'm glad I had a childhood that was uncluttered by cell phones. Technology definitely has it's place, and for things like emergencies, I absolute believe in the value of the modern cell phone because it has saved lives, but just as that is the good of progress, that same progress means many people have lost out on actually truly being present in their daily lives and connecting with one another in person and enjoying being in the moment with the people that are around them.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I can clearly remember the times before smartphones and social media were a thing.
    Good ol' Nokia 3310 - the sturdiest and indestructible and long lasting cellphone I had at some point.
    It was the times before around 2009. In around 2009 the social media was already growing in popularity. And then smartphones got into the game and had integration with social media too, which is how we today see is sucking the peoples lives out.

    foto-thumbnails.mtb-news.de/.../...aW5hbC5qcGc.jpg

    tse2.mm.bing.net/th

    thesmombiechronicles.com/.../...24-um-15.52.19.jpg

    marialourdesblog.com/.../smartphone-zombies.jpg

    Before those smartphones were a thing with it's popularity on social media I remember the social media was first a kinda web service accessible only on computers or laptops.

    Sometimes I wish we could just go back in time and live without this technological mess, that we have allowed ourselves to live in.

    But! Today we can see who allows themselves to be absorbed by social media and the smartphone addictions and on good news is that it can tell quite some things about a person.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • One thing I remember before having a smart phone is being more active outdoors. It was the times where my cousins and I had to be home before the street lights came on, and honestly those were the good days. Funny thing about that is that you didn’t really need to look at the time, but instead keep watch on the street lights or watch for the sun to set to know to go home. we would be outside damn near all day just having fun. Also it was easier to talk to people face to face or go visit friends and family, which I find better than FaceTime or all the new stuff. It’s nice yes, but I feel it doesn’t have the same value of actually being with that person physically ya know?

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What Guys Said 37

  • Cell phones/smartphones have ruined many aspects of how good life was back when. People had to leave their house to visit others. People had to talk to carry on a conversation. People had to be themselves to make friends. Examples go on and on.

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    • Preach! I went to the airport before Christmas when it was packed with an actual book, and I was the ONLY one with my face not buried in a phone. I thought it was so crazy to think, a decade a go, people would be chatting with one another, or complaining about late flights, or reading newspapers, and now, it's a zombie nation.

  • Being a 57-year-old man I can and still do relate to this well. I didn't get my first cell phone till 2009. Now, like many, I " freak out " a bit if I leave my cell phone at home when I head out. I actually hate that feeling of being so connected to my Smart Phone now. Oh, but I do comprehend the matter. It's just a significant difference between the times, and Times they do change. I wonder what the next big leap in personal communications will be? Micro Chip Implanted Cell Phones?

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    • Micro Chip Implanted Cell Phones? Man, don't give them ideas! LOL!

  • Yeah I lived most of my life before cellphones were a regular thing, so what is considered really hard to live like now a days was not that bad since we didn’t know any better. I haven’t seen any pay phones in awhile, and I bet my kids don’t know how to even use them, lol

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  • real communication and associated interactions existed

    On a more insidious level, there was privacy which no longer exists for these gadgets are akin to every human having a chip in them. they are tracked and monitored everywhere.

    Get me back to pre 83 before the first 'brick mobile phone'

    That is all

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  • Control and limits is what we need
    We ve gone too far with this technology thing - With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. We dont have the responsiblity so we we're pretty much fucked up.
    If no control nor moral and physical bounds were existed everybody would have blown up the world and turned into cave men already

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  • I'm old enough to remember what my life was like before I had a phone. And even after I did get one, I remember being confused on what to do the first time I got a text message!

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  • I miss those days. Now people are frequently glued to their phones and are completely engrossed with it and get so distracted by whatever it is that is happening on their phone.

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    • Reading this comment from my smartphone during a 30 minutes break in my institute i do agree with that.
      I look around me right now. Every single student is looking at their smartphone (including me right now).

    • @Unit1 www.magicalquote.com/.../...d-in-all-the-time..jpg

      "This is the world now. Logged on, plugged in, all the time." Exactly what what was said in Terminator Genisys, and that is exactly what this world is turning into. Machines had already won by now since we're so hopelessly addicted and dependent upon them, without them ever needing to become self-aware and initiating a global thermonuclear war on humankind.

    • Luckily I can break free from it. But also risk losing myself into it to deep at times.
      Still, the benefits outweigh the risks for me, so it's all good.

      Otherwise I wouldn't be able to communicate with you.
      I am the kind of user, who believes technologies should be complementary to our lives, not our slaves (making maximum profit until breaking) or masters (being already dependent on social media & smartphones like the new era drug).

      I love machines. But humans are too stupid and then make it look like the machines have enslaved us.

  • Both my children 14 & 11 have them permanently attached , like it's part of their anatomy , which I discourage , but it's like a frigging disease now.. the Phone Zombie brain virus must be highly contagious !

    Always preferred real interactions over phonecalls , text / online conversations are often taken out of context / taken as offensive , body language and voice tone are the MAJOR factors in communication , a smart phone is NOT smart enough to give proper context !!

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  • Yeah I remember those days.
    If you liked a girl, you would call someone who knew someone else's number who new someone else's number who knew her number lol
    Unless they were in the phone book.

    Just showing up at someone's house wasn't considered creepy.
    Those were the days.

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  • Awww the bikes. So true. You'd go to where people are instead of send a text

    I loves it. Now a days i can not see people for so long and oddly still feel satisified because i have contact through text and stuff

    But it doesn't feel as fulfilling. So while it keeps you somewhat content. You don't actually explode with excitement either

    Bah
    I do like the long distance part though. Thats the best part of it

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  • Thanks for Sharing your Take with GirlsAskGuys Community.

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  • Phones are like everything else, there are pros and cons. Having a phone is beneficial for me and my mom to reach each other. It provides a fast way to obtain information and can be a great way to pass the time.

    But i agree, we have gone too far and have forgotten how to come together as a community.

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    • I think when it was just people having cell phones, it was okay, but as soon as smart phones took over, the disconnect became a real palpable thing.

    • I agree. But i like being able to listen to music and research things on my phone since i don't have computer. Also, what are you using to get on this site? Im curious.

    • Don't get me wrong, cell phones most definitely have their place. I'm not saying we should just ditch them altogether.

  • yeah i remember puting 5c coin in black phones with the A and B buttons. we would jump on bike in morning and not return until evening, no contact. wow how it has changed

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  • I remember grocery shopping with mom and she would make a phone call at cub foods... back before everyone had their nosed in a screen all the time. People actually would meet new people and get dates in person without being drunk.

    media.giphy.com/media/3o7bueOmiQa9vIRIo8/giphy.gif

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  • It was so much better before we had mobile phones.

    You actually talked to people. There was no texting in relationships. No snooping, password sharing.

    If you were out and someone wanted to contact you, too bad, they either left a message or called you back.

    No expensive phone fees to pay, was great.

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  • Yeah, it's hard to imagine today, but somehow we once lived without these things...

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  • I only just got into using a cell phone when I went to college. Before that, I always had a landline. It was so satisfying to hang up a landline phone on a telemarketer.

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    • Not only that... I miss the joys of not being found. Now, people text and expect an immediate response no matter where you are or what you're doing, and if not that, they call you like everything is an emergency just to say, hey, what are you doing.

    • yeah, that is annoying as well.

  • So true. So true the worst thing was asking a girl for her number which meant her home number and when you called it meant her mom or dad answered the phone and wanted to know who was calling. Ugh.

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  • I enjoyed this Take immensely - so very, very true! 😂

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  • Modern technology makes writing stories a lot harder and usually more more boring when every problem can be solved instantaneously.

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  • I think I've very poor memory because I don't remember any of those.

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    • Maybe it never existed!

    • @Plumy exactly! I think those millennials are spreading fake theories before inventions of mobile so they can make us stop using them. But I know the truth, cell phones existed before humans walked on Earth. If you don't believe, check the metal present in your cell phone. It is 500000 years old

    • Waw that is true, radiocarbon dating can't lie!

  • Nice MyTake. They still have a few of those pay phones around

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    • What? Where? The last time I saw one (that was still working that is), was like 6 years ago randomly in front of a museum, but I think they put it there like an ancient relic.

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    • Yeah lol. So you're a head honcho of this site your
      an administrator. What are your views on me as
      a user here? I've been here a long time

    • I don't discuss individual users, but thank you for being a part of the Gag Community.

  • I used to steal the coins from payphone, when I was a child, anybody did that?

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  • Kinda good times, when people talked to you directly. Phone was expensive, no texts, no instagram...
    If someone talked to you, it meant he really wanted to, because he actually had to come to talk to you.
    Phone cards collections, of course. More people outside, since we couldn't just sit home and watch netflix or surf the net. And plenty of good things.
    I still remember clearly all the payphones locations I used to use.
    That being said, let's be honest, cellphones and internet gave us many improvements, but on a social scale, it was a disaster.

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  • excellent mytake. I was able to get online on a limited basis when "dialup" was around

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  • Yeah, social life was probably better/healthier back hen we didn't have phones/social media.

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  • Intriguing

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  • The old phones were cool as well somehow

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  • Nice mytake, the way things were

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What Girls Said 16

  • It feels like studying history, I think it is important but also present and future are very important
    *imo* technology is actually helping relations even if it depends how it is used, people take some time to learn about something new and adapt to it, there will always be some people trying to use something improperly, anything used in the wrong way can be trouble, hopefully humanity can evolve with progress...
    Anyway I am glad that I'm living in the present and I can't wait for the future 🌟

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  • I miss those days. The only good thing about cellphone for me is that I met some people i would never have met in my country and they are so precious. I love the fact it made us connect with the world but at same time it disconnected us with the real life and our society. So it's a good and bad thing.

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  • Our household had to have 3 different phone lines. One for my parents' business, another was a dedicated fax/internet line and another for family use. I was a "telephone monster" and kept blabbing away all night until my brothers and parents yell at me.

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  • Awesome myTake. It actually makes me sad, but also happy that I had a childhood without the added social pressures of filterng your selfies on instagram. It makes me wanna put down my phone and go outside. Thanks for the reminder :)

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    • As wonderful as they are, high school would have been dramatically different had their been Smart Phones and I don't think for the better.

  • i was only born in 98, but i recall the lack of ability to communicate and you're right it had it's pros and cons for damn sure lol. still remember getting off the bus early when no one was home, freaking the fuck out and running down the street to a neighbor who called my mom on her home phone letting her know what went down while i ate a carrot. the carrot isn't relevant but felt the need to add it somehow \(=^‥^)/’`

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  • I think pay phones should still be around. If you have no charge or no cell and an emergency you are screwed In a way you might not have been before advanced technology.

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  • ah yes, pay phones. I remember being 5 years old and calling my dad on one inside Walmart lol. I just recently got my first cell phone but really I don't use it very much.

    awesome take XD

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  • Times have definitely changed, I was born in 1987... I wasn't really ever raised with cellphones until late teens so yeah but now they're everywhere!

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  • The story about the first aid kit and the single quarter was cute! What do girl scouts nowadays get in their first aid kit, a mobile phone? lol I don't even know where the next payphone is...

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    • Ha! I think kids who do a lot of after school activities get cell phones so mom and dad can call them. It used to really be, people would say, not until my kid is 13 or something at least, but now, phone companies make phones where the kids can dial only the pre-programed numbers, aka, mom and dad, and only receive calls from them.

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    • A lot of phone companies offer some type of kids plan, whereby I think you either buy the parental control software or it comes built in. Your uncle can definitely do things like track everything in the phone and restrict screen time. Here's a link, but there are many www.asecurelife.com/best-cell-phones-for-kids/

    • Thanks for the link! The ones with set amount of screen time are neat. I'll tell him about it.

  • It was barbaric. We had to physically socialize with people in order to staying contact.

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  • I wish I grew up in a generation without cell phones. Would have been amazing.

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  • I like the old movies where they had to find a pay phone to call people - so retro.

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  • Yeah I wish just showing up at someone's doorstep wasn't taboo

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  • I agree with tbis 100%

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  • You can’t even find pay phones anymore

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  • I can’t remember as I am 14!

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