The World Before Cell Phones

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Published at : 09 Dec 2020
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Kids these days have no idea just how good they’ve got it, and the older generations have mostly forgotten how downright harsh the world was before cell phones. Here, we’ll take a look at what things were like before we all had pocket supercomputers. MapQuest? Payphones? Oh—the horror. Welcome to The World Before Cell Phones!


5. Used Payphones
Don’t know what a payphone is? You must be fairly young. Payphones were real things, and if you were ever out and about before cell phones and needed to call someone, you’d stop at a payphone, put your change in, and make your call. They were everywhere, on almost every block, up until technology began to take off. As of 2018, there were around 100,000 payphones left in the U.S. Most of the remaining can be found in New York City, which isn’t a huge surprise, and, in time, we’re sure they are going to become another thing of the past. Thanks, cell phones.

4. Played Board Games
That’s right. Once upon a time, people would play board games more often than once every few months when the idea popped into their heads. It was fairly common for people to play a fair amount of them and, you know, fraternize with other people. They didn’t have access to any games on their cell phones because they didn’t have cell phones in the first place. And the games on early phones were nothing like the things one can play today! Does anybody remember Snake? Brick Breaker? We miss those old games.

3. Owned Gameboys
If you went back just a few years, you would be able to find what’s called a “Gameboy.” Many kids now probably know nothing of the technology, but it’s what we had to play games on before everyone had cell phones. They were these awesome, plastic, handheld gaming devices that could play all kinds of games, but get this; you had to buy the games separately and individually, as they did not come programmed into the Gameboy. Crazy, right? You’d play one game, turn off your device, pull out your game, put in another, and switch it on, over and over throughout the day, and it was great! We couldn’t just back out of our game, click on another, and start playing. Even farther back, kids were stuck playing video games inside their houses or in an arcade. Can you imagine?

2. Used Their Phones As Phones
Maybe that doesn’t make much sense, but when you think about somebody using their cell phone, what do you picture? Are they talking on the phone, or are they texting? Or maybe they’re checking their Instagram or other social media? Back in the day, people with phones used them as phones, because at one point in time, all they could do was make a phone call on them. Then, things came around to where you could customize your home phone; you could personalize your ringtone, add contacts, and mess around with various settings. Then came the cell phone. For a time, even cell phones were phone calls only. Then came texting and look where we are now. The future.
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