Friday, May 9, 2014

It's one of those days.

The dreaded writer's block has struck again.  I hate when that happens.  I can't think of a darn thing to write about, don't even have a clever quip, snappy poem or childhood memory.

Oh wait, I do...I was talking with my sister yesterday afternoon and we got to talking about 'olden times' and the telephone we had in our house while we were kids.  It was big, black, had a rotary dial and sat on its own special table, next to my dad's chair.

We were taught it was a privilege to use the phone and were never allowed to abuse that privilege.  Thing was, we were on a party line, and we were actually sharing the phone service with other families in the neighborhood.  Mom said, if someone was using the line we were to quickly, quietly hang up, and wait for the line to become free so we could make our call.  Patience was definitely a requirement.

Here's the thing.  One of the families on the line had five teenage girls.  They were always on the line...I'm talking ALWAYS.  Even though we were taught to keep our calls short and sweet, which we always did, waiting for the open line was very difficult.  Grrrrr, how my sister and I wanted to tell those girls off, in language I'm sure my mother didn't know we knew.  But, we obeyed the family rules for many a year, and eventually we were rewarded with a private line...thank you phone company.  You have to remember, that even though we now could pick up the phone any time we wanted and get a dial tone, family rules still applied.  We had to keep our calls short and sweet, and at a minimum.  Incoming calls were the same, and all our friends knew we could not dilly-dally with idle chatter.  Using the phone was still a privilege.

Now this got me to thinking, at how quickly telephone service has advanced. Our big, black, bulky style with short cord, and hand held receiver was at the time 'state of the art, top of the line'.  Then came streamlined styles, smaller and you had a choice of colors.  By the 70's the first wireless phones came into being, they were as big as our black one, but shaped so you could hold it clumsily in your hand, however, you were somewhat restrained because it only worked if you were within x number of feet of its home base.  Then, something marvelous happened, the age of computer chips, integrated circuits, semiconductor devices, opening the door to new electronics and the phones of today; which are not just phones but links to the Internet and the world at large.

We can choose family plans, framily plans, and skype.  We can have phones that wrap around our ears and are hand free.  Some fit in our pockets and purses.  They're flat and fit in the palm of our hands, and you speak into them without having to hold them to your ear.  Land lines are becoming obsolete, as we can 'bundle' television, phone and Internet in package deals through cable and satellite.  I have to ask myself, what's next, what's next and wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would say if he could see exactly what direction his invention took?  Do we live in amazing times, or what?

Well, I guess for a woman who seemed to be at a loss for words, I've been rambling 'pretty good' wouldn't you say?

No comments:

Post a Comment