That Was Then And This Is Now!

@WorDazza (8482)
Manchester, England
December 4, 2015 4:18am CST
There is currently an informational advert on UK television warning children of the dangers of sending compromising pictures of themselves to friends/acquaintances as a bit of a laugh. It got me thinking about how things have changed since I was a youngster. These days, with a few button presses you can expose yourself to a global audience within seconds. During my childhood these sort of things were limited to a quick "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" session behind the bike sheds. If you required a wider audience then it usually required a dirty raincoat, a visit to the local park and humiliation when the local girls pointed, laughed and screeched "Is that all you've got?" Even less furtive pastimes were a complete minefield. These days, a romance can blossom via phone, text and social media access from the comfort, safety and, most importantly, privacy of a bedroom. As a teenager, the only phone I had access to was connected to a land-line and placed in a prominent position in the sitting room. Whispering sweet nothings to my latest girlfriend wasn't really an option when it would have to be conducted against a backdrop of The Black and White Minstrel Show blaring from the TV and my big sister trying to wrestle the mouthpiece away from me to make exaggerated kissing noises down it!! The only other option was the public phone box. And where I lived, more often than not, it was no option. Assuming it hadn't been vandalised beyond use it was difficult to hold a romantic conversation with the wind whistling through the broken glass and the local drunk trying to evict me as he needed to go to the toilet. Modern communication technology may be blamed for many of society's ills. But it doesn't half make life easier for the current day Romeo and Juliet!!
16 people like this
15 responses
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
4 Dec 15
Oh so many evenings spent in public phone boxes that smelled of stale wee.
3 people like this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
4 Dec 15
@WorDazza I won't dignify that with a response. BUT did wonder if the title was an ABC reference.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
@boiboing Typical. You never used to respond to my phone calls either. Unless your cards had the wrong number printed on them. The title is purely coincidental. Is it too late to pretend it was cleverly thought out to tie in the subject of the post with the period I was in my mid to late teens? I'm sure if I say nothing then everyone will think it was!!
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
4 Dec 15
@WorDazza I doubt it. Most won't have a clue what we're talking about. Can't complain, mustn't grumble. Help yourself to another piece of apple crumble.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (31724)
• Denmark
4 Dec 15
The phone played no role in my life until my student days. Before that one communicated via handwritten letters. Then it was phone booths.
2 people like this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
I think we should campaign for a resurgence of the handwritten letter. There's nothing like asking someone a question and waiting 2 weeks for a reply!!
@LadyDuck (118591)
• Switzerland
4 Dec 15
So many memories brought back by your post. The land line phone in the sitting room, so true, I remember this very well and all the family looking at you when I tried to say something to my boyfriend.
2 people like this
@Drosophila (16862)
• Ireland
4 Dec 15
Tbh, I always think you don't know a person fully until you've met them in real life. The online persona can be very misleading.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
Indeed it can. I am really a very attractive young Asian lady trying to get more people to interact with me by pretending to be a middle-aged English bloke. I think it's working!!
2 people like this
@Drosophila (16862)
• Ireland
4 Dec 15
@WorDazza Lol, well I befriended a guy a while back who claimed to be 36years old, later on I found out he was erm 53. It kinda makes you wonder....
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
5 Dec 15
@Drosophila You've got to give him some credit for trying to pull that one off!!!
1 person likes this
@PainsOnSlate (19021)
• Canada
8 Dec 15
Good golly I'm glad that phone booths are a thing of the past . Thanks for the laugh. Our phone was on the wall right by the stairs with a door to the basement. We sat on the top step and whispered sweet nothings in private.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
8 Dec 15
Did your phone have one of this ridiculously long cords that you always see on 1970s and 1980s US TV programmes? They would have been useful in our house. I could have left the phone in the living room and took the receiver upstairs to my bedroom!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Dec 15
@WorDazza We had a pretty long cord but not that long. we had a party line because we were in the country, our neighbors were on the same line and often picked up the phone and listened to our conversations. When offered a single line dad paid the extra money to stop the nosy neighbors who lived about a half mile from our house. If we picked up the phone and found them on it we apologized and hung up - not them...
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
9 Dec 15
@PainsOnSlate We used to have a party line when we first got a phone in the late 1960s. We were always suspicious that our neighbours were listening in. They probably felt the same about us though!!!
1 person likes this
@paigea (21030)
• Canada
10 Dec 15
Romance can blossom from texting but some of it is pretty troublesome. Some students in Alberta have been charged for posting intimate pictures of others.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
10 Dec 15
Yeah, that's beginning to happen over here too. While I agree romance can blossom via text, social media etc. I think it causes trouble in a relationship quite quickly. 30 years ago if you went out with your mates your other half had no way of contacting you. You could have a night out in peace. Now the contact is 24/7 and that's not good for any relationship!!!
@paigea (21030)
• Canada
10 Dec 15
@WorDazza true. Something to think about as I am about to text my husband while he's playing hockey. We need milk.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
10 Dec 15
@paigea Well there you go. You have nobody but yourself to blame if he thinks "I can't even have a game of hockey in peace. When will this ever end?" and then doesn't come home!!
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50125)
• United Kingdom
5 Dec 15
What I wouldn't have given for a mobile phone when I was young. I had two sisters older than me and getting time on our landline was as rare as hen's teeth. Even then we were supposed to wait for our boyfriends to ring us, as our parents weren't keen on big phone bills
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
5 Dec 15
We even had a party line, shared with another house. Sometimes you'd pick the phone up to make a call and the other people were on the phone. If you were very quiet you could listen in!!!!
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50125)
• United Kingdom
5 Dec 15
@WorDazza Oh I remember that too!
@Inlemay (17333)
• South Africa
4 Dec 15
I sometimes waited a month for a call from my boyfriend - they didnt have a home phone so he had to save money to call me from His army outpost - Once a month
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
I think that was what kept a lot of relationships alive back in the day. Lack of contact!
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17333)
• South Africa
4 Dec 15
@WorDazza i actually agree with you
1 person likes this
@gudheart (12804)
7 Dec 15
It sure has its advantages and disadvantages. I think it is only used in the wrong way by the wrong people. Still waiting to find my romeo though lol
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
8 Dec 15
One day your prince will come!! Probably a whole load of frogs too though
@flapiz (4160)
• Australia
4 Dec 15
I must agree with you on the last line of this discussion. It doesn't make it easier. In fact, it makes it harder. Modern technology had made everything so easy that courtship is starting to be extinct and sweet nothings can be sent to a dozen other people on the phone book.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
5 Dec 15
I sometimes think the current 24/7 contactability can be very harmful to a relationship.
1 person likes this
@xFiacre (10388)
• Ireland
4 Dec 15
@wordazza I always dreaded getting a phone call from anybody, romantic or otherwise, and have to speak in front of the whole family who wanted to know everything. My phone box too doubled as the local urinal.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
So Ireland wasn't much different to England then!!!
@PhredWreck (6096)
4 Dec 15
'Expose' yourself to a global audience...quite literally. Quite less of a chance of being arrested for it than by using the old raincoat.
1 person likes this
@WorDazza (8482)
• Manchester, England
4 Dec 15
That's another thing technology can be blamed for. The global slump in raincoat sales!!
1 person likes this
@GreatMartin (4313)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
6 Dec 15
What goes on now went on back in our time but it was kept quiet and not talked about in public!
1 person likes this
@allknowing (55147)
• India
5 Dec 15
Nothing that you described happened in my good old days. We were good children - no other way being watched by our elders for every nonroutine move we decided to take.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Dec 15
I don't know if the problem is technology, or the state of morals among the younger set.