I will be starting a new weekly post on the blog entitled "Then vs. Now." The premise of the series will be a look at how certain aspects of our lives have changed in the past 10-20 years. I will let all of you be the judge on whether the change has been for better or for worse.
For the under-20 crowd reading this blog, you may be wondering to yourself, "Whoah, what is that?" That's what us old fogies like to call a home telephone. H-o-m-e T-e-l-e-p-h-o-n-e. It's a hard concept to explain really, but before those things you use to text people, check your Facebook and play Words with Friends, some of us actually called one another for a real-life conversation on a phone with a cord. Sometimes up to 3, 4, maybe even 5 people in the same household all shared the same phone. Shocking, I know. And if you weren't home, guess what? No one could get ahold of you. Don't panic...keep reading. This can be your history lesson for the day.
My point isn't even that we used to use home phones. I'm going to get even more specific in my comparison of "Then vs. Now."
What's so special about that little white contraption pictured above? If you guessed the cord, you guessed wrong. See those little 1 and 2 buttons on there? Those are the real gems. The day I got my first phone for my room with a 1 and a 2 button, I thought I was the Queen of England.
No you goober head youngsters, Kate Middleton is not the Queen of England. At least not yet. This is the Queen of England.
(I'm sure back in her prime she looked as good as Kate.........)
Why were those 1 and 2 buttons so crucial? They allowed me the capability of making the wonderful "3-Way Phone Call." It's not as dirty as it sounds. A 3-way phone call is when you call up 1 friend, perhaps your old friend Phyllis. After you get ahold of Phyllis, you put her on hold (she doesn't like it when you do this, but then again Phyllis is kind of a drag in general). Then you press over to the 2nd line and dial your other friend, perhaps Ethel. Once you rope Ethel in, you press another button (I don't even remember which one it has been so long) and BOOM! All 3 of you can talk at the same time (be careful though because Phyllis tends to always talk over other people and it gets rather annoying).
3-Way phone calls were flat out awesome. Most people (and by most people I mean me and my goober middle school friends) used the feature to call a boy for one another and ask them out for the other person who pretended not to be on the call as well. This feature was either really exciting when the answer was "yes" or really depressing when the guy went on and on about how he has no interest in you (thanks Brian Shields). The other great use of the 3-way feature was to get someone to spill dirt on someone, or talk a little trash about them, again while pretending the other person wasn't on the line. You want to know why middle schoolers trade boyfriends and best friends as often as they change their underwear? Three words:
THREE. WAY. CALLS.
I'm actually a little uncomfortable as to why the above 6 people would be Skyping with one another, especially the creeper in the left hand corner with the mysterious identity.
Today, no one really uses house phones except for maybe your Grandma and Grandpa. Unless your grandpa is like mine and has an iPad that he likes to play Chess on. That's another story for another time though. SKYPE or even iChat is all the new rage today. Forget the art of the 3-way phone call. Who needs that when you can talk to like 5 or 6 of your friends all at the same time?
Skyping and iChatting are even more interactive than a telephone call or a text message. When you Skype someone, you can actually see their face on the computer screen. Forget emoticons (No, actually don't forget those....they can be really funny sometimes when used with discretion). You can see your friends sarcastic look when they are being sarcastic. You can see your friends really laugh, instead of LOL or LMAO or ROTFL. You can also do things like Chat Roulette, but unless you wanna see some Bret Favre like images, or images like the one below, I suggest you pass on that for now.
Can you believe we used to get excited about having 2 lines and being able to 3-way chat? Seems kind of silly now. Until you see something like the picture below....and you feel better about your pre-historic methods of communication