Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cell Phones: the good ol' days

So since my cell phone was ripped ruthlessly from my possession (okay, so it was picked up by someone who took advantage of the situation, but I prefer the more dramatic words), I've been in cell phone limbo. I've only had the cell phone for 2 months and already I was attached to it like an appendage.

Previous to this cell phone, I only had a prepaid cell phone for emergencies and a line of a friend's cell phone that I tried to use sparingly (it's a long story). But it wasn't really a true cell phone and I told people for the last 2 years that I simply "don't have a cell phone." Since friend's phone was AT&T, I've been using it with my current SIM card temporarily while waiting for my new phone to arrive, but all my numbers are gone and I've had to go through my email and facebook friends to recover the many numbers I added in the last 2 months. On the old phone is stored number after number of people I've lost contact with.

It's given me time to reflect. I've had cell phones various times in the past. My first ever being in 2001. I signed a one-year contract (remember those days?) with Sprint for 300 daytime minutes and 2000 night and weekend minutes with nights and weekends starting at 8pm. I didn't have a land line and I regularly went over the 300 daytime minutes, often having to wait until after 8pm to call my friends at the end of the month. I had the ugliest, hugest Kyocera bar phone in blue plastic. It didn't even have a color screen! About half of my friends had a cell phone at this time and I remember meeting people in college and asking for their number. They'd dig around in their backpacks for a pen while I whipped out my cell phone. "Oh! Technology," they said with a little annoyance--as though I was some rich kid (even though they were becoming more common). I remember friends of mine laughing with disdain at the larger and larger number of people with cell phones on campus, chatting as they walked to class. After the year was up, I'd had enough of cell phones and cancelled my plan, opting for a landline instead.

One year later and I was back on the cell phone wagon, this time signing a contract with AT&T. I think I had 450 daytime minutes and unlimited nights and weekends this time around. This time I had a small bar Nokia with a color screen. After the year contract was up, I again cancelled my plan and went with a landline.

That was the last time I had a cell phone. I still used the actual phone as a phone book though (what did people do before them, I wonder). But the transition to two-year contracts to unlimited night and weekend minutes to rollover minutes to paying more for earlier nights and weekends to texting--so much has changed in the last 7 years. Now, if someone asks for your number, they whip out a cell phone. Asking for a pen and paper is like asking for a scroll, feather, and ink for writing numbers down--it's ancient and practically unheard of. Amazing!