Archive for May, 2014


Remember this?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Finding this image of an old phone led me to reflect on how much telephones have changed.

As a parent of a teenager I can confirm that he likes to talk on the phone.  Sound familiar? But hold on, we weren’t any different, I admit to doing the same at that age, I would happily chat to my friends for hours and hours, it was vital to keep connected. Nothing has changed, the need to communicate is as important today as it was then but that’s where the similarity ends.  The equipment and the way we used it is almost Jurassic compared with technology today.

The ‘old technology’ would horrify our teenagers.  Can you imagine them having the patience to dial the number on one of these old fashioned GPO phones?  They would have to remember the number for a start, instead of referring to a contacts list!

I recall taking our ivory version as far as the lead would go so that I could sit on the stairs for privacy. Whilst I was nattering away I’d be clogging the line, preventing anyone else from getting through.  My dad would attempt to call my mum every evening to say he was leaving the office and more often than not he would get the engaged tone.  Of course the worst of it would be the cost!  I had quite a knack of regularly running up a hefty phone bill. No wonder my dad lost his hair!

How different it is today. The teenagers don’t use the landline; they don’t even know what it is!  They have their own personal phones, mobile at that. They can talk to multiple friends at once and with the bonus of things like ‘Pay As You Go’, ‘Facetime’ and ‘WhatsApp’ parents are not presented with bills that make your hair fall out.

A friend of mine recently admitted to coming across her old landline phone in the cupboard.  Her daughter asked what it was.  When she was told it was a phone she quickly responded “but it doesn’t have a display”.  I understand she’s since been treated for shock.

The evolution of the telephone, especially mobile phones has been rapid, the pace is increasing daily which makes me wonder how on earth our grandchildren will be arranging a night out in the not to distant future.