I had a really interesting conversation with my good friend Jenn a couple days ago. Perhaps we were loopy from too much studying and not enough sleep. But the conversation has stuck with me and bothered me ever since. I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. So like a song that gets stuck in your head that you just have to sing – here’s an idea that’s stuck in my head that I just have to blog about.
What did people do before cell phones?
I know it’s easy to take this question light-heartedly. Oh yeah, back in the day, before cell phones, yeah that was probably weird. But we have cell phones now so what does it matter. Okay, whatever, moving on. But seriously. Think about this.
Take Badger games for example. Or any sporting event you like to attend. HOW IN THE HELL DID PEOPLE MEET UP AT BADGER GAMES??? Can you IMAGINE trying to find a friend without a cell phone in sea of red and white???? Let’s say your friend lived downtown. And you didn’t. And you were driving across town to meet your friend at his/her house. And you had never been there before. You couldn’t call to tell them you were five minutes away. Would your friend have to wait patiently at home until you got there? What if you got lost? Let’s say you found the street, but couldn’t remember the house number. Would you get out and knock on every door asking “Um…does my friend Samantha live close to you? Do you know a Samantha?” Now remember, it’s a Badger game day. So even if you were speaking to Samantha’s neighbor, that person would probably be so inebriated that they would not be able to recall any such person. At this point, you are 30 minutes late to Samantha’s. Would she leave??? I mean come on, was she supposed to wait???? IT’S A BADGER GAME. HELLLLLLLO.
No. She would go. Without you. But let’s say she had your ticket. Would you just wander around screaming “SAMMMMM SAMMMM ITS MEEEEE WHERE ARE YOUUUU????? SAM ARE YOU THERE? HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS GIRL SAM? SHE HAS BROWN HAIR AND IS WEARING RED!”
Friendless, what would you do? You came downtown to see a Badger game. You’re not just gonna leave. Not just gonna give up and go. So would you scalp a ticket even though you already paid Sam for one? Would you go into the stadium and sit alone? And then would you just sit on her porch after the game and wait for her? Maybe you would try to use a pay phone at some point. But how would you know her number? You’d have it MEMORIZED. Either memorized or scribbled on some torn off piece of yellow notebook paper. Can you imagine how many torn off pieces of yellow notebook paper you’d have circulating in your pockets??? Cuz you sure as hell couldn’t have memorized every number you ever needed, right? Or were people just smarter back then? Is that just what you did? Memorize EVERY number???
Ya know, what if Sam didn’t even have a phone number. After all, she is a college student. Living downtown. Would students have to get home phones installed in every new house/apartment they lived in? Is that what people did?
Maybe people were just more reliable before cell phones. Sam would have never gone to the game without you. Would have waited for you. And you would have never gotten lost. You would have never been that stupid. You would have found her. Maybe people were better at recognizing friends. Maybe our eyes and our other senses were just more developed for spotting loved ones in giant crowds. Have we regressed mentally and physically as a society because of cell phones?????? If you had planned to be somewhere, and you didn’t have a cell phone, and something came up, would you make it happen no matter what because there was no way to call and cancel? Were people just better friends without cell phones?
I mean, really. What did people do? How did you ever meet up with anyone, ever? In any situation?
Some adult is going to read this and think “This is our future. This is the kind of monster we have created. What a naive, technology-addicted sad, sad, girl.” But I imagine the majority of people that read this will have never known what life was like before cell phones. Or the internet. Or Blogs. So seriously, think about it. Has something designed to make connections easier made us less connected? Less reliable? Less desirable?