Does anyone remember life without cell phones?

United States
November 16, 2008 7:52pm CST
Nowadays because of cell phones you can be found anywhere in the world once you don't decide to take off your cell phone, and even then there are still ways to get around that. When I got my first cell phone, when I was out my Mother could call me anywhere I was and tell me to come home. Before then, I would come home when specified. Cell phones are now a form of entertainment, time management, and accountability. How do you guys feel about this and do you sometimes wish you could go back to how it used to be before they became a standard.
14 people like this
45 responses
• United States
17 Nov 08
Oh yes! I remember well the times before cell phones! In fact when I was growing up, people all had "party lines" in their homes -- that means more than one family would be on a single phone line, even tho they are in different houses. So if you needed to use the phone, you might pick it up and hear someone talking! Imagine how hard families today find it to share one private phone and we used to share with not only our family but another one that we didn't even know! Now the whole family practically has their own private phone, once they reach whatever age. I miss a lot of things from when I was a kid, but I don't really miss the old phones. But then, cell phones don't chain me, because I will not answer if I am busy -- I don't feel compelled that I must always answer a phone, no matter what I'm doing or how I'm feeling. But I love being able to have a phone pretty much at all times and it is a much safer feeling if you have car trouble, get lost, or anything like that.
• United States
17 Nov 08
I definitely feel compelled to answer. I always think that it could be something important, but it's usually just a friend that's calling to chat or find out if I'm down the hall from them. It's kinda funny sometimes.
1 person likes this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
17 Nov 08
I'd heard people mentioning Party Lines before,but have never personally experienced one...So,I was wondering..if a number of families were sharing a phone line,How did the bill get worked out?
• United States
17 Nov 08
Kayree, if I'm concerned it might have been important, I will check the messages immediately -- but as you said, it is usually not important! As far as the party line, I think by the time I was a kid, we only shared with one other family. It was a flat cost per month for a party line, and I guess they had a way to know who used the long distance -- we had different phone numbers from the other family so our phone didn't ring when they got a call. People didn't make long distance calls very much back then -- it was very expensive. That's where it got to the point where people would make up codes, like call long distance and ask for a certain person who wasn't there -- that way, when you were traveling your family would know you arrived safely without the cost of long distance. My family didn't do that -- we just kept the call down to about 3 sentences, lol! I'll try to get my mom on here to answer -- she knows more about the way party lines worked.
@agrant10 (1446)
• United States
17 Nov 08
I know now and days some people would rather die before they give up their cellphones, but I do remember the time that we did not have them. You had to wait until you got home to use the phone or either stop to a phone booth.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Phone booths are now a rarity aren't they? I do not see too many of them anymore now days. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Nov 08
I think I heard that they were getting rid of phone booths little by little because they don't need it anymore.
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
17 Nov 08
I remember life before cell phones. It was probably better I have a cell phone, but if I did not have one, life would be just as good for me. I have a telephone in my home if people need to get ahold of me
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
I was thinking about that but I'm never really home since I leave for about 12 hours per day.
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
17 Nov 08
In your case, better to have a cell phone I rarely use mine compared to the two females that live in my house. they'd be lost without their cell phone
2 people like this
@pooh08 (671)
• Vietnam
17 Nov 08
When I had cell phone, I used to called by my father. He said where am I, when I came back home or somethings like that. I agree with you that cell phones are convenience but it also inconvenience. Now I often forget my cell phone at home because nobody will not call me. I use it for listen to music, watch TV. Besides that, I don't use it more.
• United States
18 Nov 08
I wish that I could get the intenet back on my cell phone. Then I wouldn't need my laptop. it's like you can do everything with your phone to survive in life except breath.
@Ganesh44 (5547)
• India
17 Nov 08
I think that life without cellphone was really very peaceful . I often miss those wonderful days. Hope the harmful cellphone radiation phobia may bring us those days back . ha ha ha ha lol..... Happy Mylotting Take Care Ganesh
• United States
17 Nov 08
I forgot about the radiation. My boyfriend used to make me use a headset to prevent that. Now everyone's using bluetooth which still causes radiation.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
17 Nov 08
I agree with u if nowadays the cellphones is not only for communicate each other but also for entertainment,time management and business equipment. I still remember when I was in High School I don't have cellphone yet,and I felt nothing different with my life. May be I'll be feel "naked" as you say if I don't have it today. because we will know how much valuable something when we lost it! (^ ^,)")
2 people like this
@kidjuwee (612)
• Philippines
17 Nov 08
Those were the days when it was very very hard to send a message to someone. It would also get annoying at times to have a cellphone with you all the time because there are times that it doesn't stop beeping and ringing. But I still think it's better to have a cellphone at all times because it is very helpful in times when you need someone to talk to and or in times of emergencies and you need help.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Nov 08
Yea. I always wondered why when there is no signal it says emergency calls only. How does the call get through to 911 or do you end up roaming then.
@sid556 (30999)
• United States
17 Nov 08
I remember it well because to this day, I have never owned one. My daughter has had a cell phone since she was 12 and it was never, ever used as a tool for her to come home on time or anything like that. I told her when to come in from playing and she knew she had better be home on time. I did not call her...I'd go looking and she darn well needed to be where she said she was. She is in highschool now and when she tells me she is going to spend the night or hang out for the evening at a friends house...I need a call from the parents or she needs to call me from their land line to verify. Her cell was given to her basically to be able to call me for rides if needed or if I needed to get a hold of her. I am thinking of getting a pay as you go phone just for emergencies but to be honest...I'd rather talk to people in person so chatting on the phone is not something i've ever gotten into.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
Wow. I really surprised to hear that you don't have one. Even if they don't like it people get it just for the convenience of it. I remember the day my Godmother got one I was shocked. But then I realized that she never puts it on. Only if she wanted to make an emergency call. So I'm back to still trying to catch her when she gets home at night.
• India
17 Nov 08
Naaa...it's hard to beleive that our ancestors and previous generations lived without it...actually cellphones have made the definition fo lofe shorter by hours...we don't waste time in travelling quite frequently unless it's to urgent...we feel secured when we go outside with cellphone...it's become a part of life and that's why every third person in the world has got one.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
So, the cellphone is like the security blanket. Like in Charlie brown with Linus. Yea...makes sense to me.
@elghrasya (501)
• Philippines
17 Nov 08
Life without cellphone is so uneasy and it's kinda boring. Imagine life without it? whaaattta sad life...isn't it?
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
Maybe we don't use our imaginations anymore because it's all laid out for us with applications provided by the phone provider. Then again, I don't have much of an imagination.
@gauthami (137)
• New Zealand
17 Nov 08
LIfe without cell phone is really nasty. becoz it help very much in emergency or chating talking with frds and where ever we go we can contact people..one day i was struck in out home lift and i got my cell phone with me i rang my dad and he saved me or else i would be strucked for 3 days without any food becoz no current some problem..i dont think we should go back...
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
Hey, Can't argue with that. One time I got stranded and I had to borrow someone else cell phone to get help.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
17 Nov 08
I remember life without cell phones. Back in the bad old days, if you were outside and away from home, you would go to a phone booth and deposit a dime, and then it went up to a quarter. But it was dangerous if you were on a date and the guy was an eight armed Romeo and there was no pay phone near by. I do not want to go back to those days.
• United States
17 Nov 08
for the eight armed Romeo, I was taught always to be armed with mad money. That's the money that gives you the power to elbow the jerk and walk away. LOL
@kykidd (6819)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Cell phones are a great convenience, unfortunately not only for the person who carries it to call someone in an emergency, but also for other people to get ahold of us when they want to. I myself remember my very first cell phone that was a bag phone. Some people probably do not remember these. Someone had given it to me to take on a trip just in case. I could use my credit card to make a phone call. Obviously, since you had to go through the trouble, and you had to use the credit card you didn't make too many calls. It is totally different today, and I find it very convenient. Then again, I still only use mine for the free long distance calling and when it is important. Have a great day!
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
I never heard of a bag phone. I gguess they're like the ones that they have in planes.
• Canada
17 Nov 08
I remember the times when we didnt have cell phones. I wasnt bothered at all by it back then, but I would never want to live without one today! Especially because I dont drive, so my walks are lonely and I am always gabbing on the phone at night after work on my walk home. Its also like a security blanket for me, makes me feel comfortable.
• United States
17 Nov 08
Yea, I do that too. Especially when I walk at night and I see suspicious people. One time a guy kept driving beside me so I called my friend to show him if anything happened they know where I am and what's going on.
@jimmy7512 (213)
17 Nov 08
To be honest for one COULD live with my mobile phone because I do not regularly use it except to check the time but the usage of my mobile might increase over time, I'm only 18 and I only ever get calls that aren't raelly important anyway but my life does not revolve around the mobile phone.
• United States
17 Nov 08
What about texting? Everyone constantly sees me and are upset because they sent me a text and i didn't respond, but I keep telling them that I don't get text. it's such a norm now that they just keep forgetting that I don't have it. I'll bet you'll get into it too.
17 Nov 08
HAHA, oh yeah that, texting is what I forgot to add, I text more than I call actually but if I turn my phone off noone will notice since I usually don't get any calls or texts because I'm a lonely lil boy... :(
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
Awww. that sounds sad. But if someone texts you, then it's not that lonely.
• India
18 Nov 08
No i can't.It is impossible for me to think.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
then, according to the timeline that someone posted, you are a child of the 80's.
• India
20 Nov 08
Exactly
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
18 Nov 08
When I was growing up we had an old-fashioned wooden phone on the wall, with a hand cranked ringer. Our Phone number was one long and four short rings.Whenever the phone rang everyone on the block would pick up and listen to your business. Sometimes if you didn't know something your neighbor would chip in with the correct information. Often times when the kitchen clock ran down for lack of winding, my mom would call the operator to get the right time. Once my wife was calling her mom, and couldn't get an answer. she tried ringing several times, and the operator came on to say that her she had just seen her mom walking by on her way downtown.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
I don't get that. the phone number was one long and four short rings. So it was like Morse code of something. I read in a chicken soup book that the operators used to be very friendly and helpful.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
18 Nov 08
Yes 1 long ring, and 3 short rings. It was like a code and when you heard your ring you picked the receiver off the hook and held it to your ear.It was that simple!
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
18 Nov 08
yes because it was one less bill to pay for. Now it is just a part of the neccesity but we used to be without it just like internet, we used to look up stuff on a phone book but now we don't we use internet. of course the benefits, information are found alot quicker and cell phones makes it easier to reach someone. Unlike worrying about them if they were caugth in traffic or just falling behind schedule
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
I just realized that I don't know a single number of anyone that I call because it's all in my phone. I could even sync my phone on the internet to store my address book but I still don't know any of them. i don't even know my mom's number. That's sad.
@dawnald (84152)
• Shingle Springs, California
18 Nov 08
I remember my car breaking down quite a ways from work and I had to walk a long way to get to a phone. And then the auto club couldn't guarantee that if they came by and I hadn't gotten back to the car by the time they got there that they would wait for me. So no, I'm glad for cell phones, at least as far as their use in emergency situations. I can do without most of the rest of it though!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
Reading all these posts I know for sure that I can't do without it. I'm being reminded of the stuff that i blocked out before cell phones. I've had a watch since I was 5. Now, i haven't worn a watch for over 5 years. Even that small function on my phone is needed. Let's not even talk about the tip calculator. I bet most of you don't use it, but I do.
@janisvg18 (182)
• Singapore
18 Nov 08
Ah... those were the days when life is so simple and not so much rushed... When you are scheduled to meet someone you have no choice but to wait and stay put, because you have no time to contact them! hahaha! Now, I don't think I can't survive without my phone! Everytime I'd forget my phone at home, it feels like something's missing.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Nov 08
I remember those waiting days. I really hated them since my friends are all compulsively late. Now at least I can call and yell at them when they are, if they decide to answer though.