I miss the days of the old rotary phones. It was nice to have a simple phone where you picked up a receiver that fit comfortably into your hand and the mouthpiece was located directly in front of your mouth. The sound was transmitted clearly and the larger earpiece that fit snuggly against the ear made for easy listening. Sudden disconnects, variable sound intensity and conversations filled with the words, “can you hear me now,” did not exist.
There are so many buttons on today’s phones it takes a teenager or an engineer to figure out how to use the device. Many of my friends have an iphone that has so many functions it takes years of training to master them all. I use my cell phone for a GPS system, camera, clock, calculator and address book. The functions go on and on from text messaging to watching movies.
Even the line phones at home are filled with buttons and devices to identify the caller, buttons to put the party on hold while having a conversation with someone calling in, buttons to permit a loud speaker and buttons to turn the phone into an answering machine. At my son’s home the answering machine answers on the second ring and by the time I get to the phone the message is playing and I have missed the call because I’m still searching for the button that will allow me to answer. Most of the new line phones don’t allow you to simply pick up a receiver and say hello. It’s necessary to find the hidden button to activate the talk mode.
One nice thing about the caller identification feature is that the annoying telemarketer can be identified. Those people always call at mealtime and speak in a foreign dialect as they try to sell you a spot in the yellow pages of a worthless directory they are creating. The telephone directories are another story altogether and are enough to make your blood boil.
It was nice when I was a kid when we had simple numbers that were easy to remember. Our number was 134 and you didn’t even have to dial. The operator answered with, “number please.’ If you didn’t know the number the operator always gave you friendly assistance. I don’t think operators even exist anymore.
On Christmas Eve we had an almost wonderful candlelight service at our church. It was a most reverent affair until, right in the middle of a quiet time in the service, someone’s cell phone started ringing. It rang with a very loud tone, multiple times before it was finally deactivated. It spoiled everything. I’m sure God must have groaned and I ‘m surprised he didn’t send a bolt of lightening into the church to teach us all a lesson.
I’m thinking about taking the phone off the porch. In the evening, when I’m taking a nap before officially going to bed, I stumble all over the room trying to get to the ringing annoyance. I’ve almost broken my toe on several occasions and it’s hardly ever worth the effort. I always feel obligated to answer because when I was a kid a call after dark always meant a death in the family. Now it’s someone trying to sell me something and if I had the caller in my hands there might indeed be a death.