YOU'VE GOT PHONE! - Before computers, cell phones and e-mail?

IN THE SEVENTIES IT WASN'T "You've Got Mail" it was "You've Got Phone"!

Does anyone else remember the Phone Mate? Do you remember the days when having your own telephone answering machine was considered High Technology? This was in the Stone Age, back in the seventies and we were just beginning to hear about "computers". There was no such thing as cell phones (at least for the masses), laptops, PDAs, iPods, Bluetooth or any of today's cool mod cons we take for granted.

I got my Phone Mate in the early seventies. It was a big black and fake wood plastic box with reel to reel recording for both the outgoing and incoming messages. You recorded your first outgoing message with great excitement - something cutesy and totally annoying or something totally boring like "Leave your message at the tone". Being a total freakazoid I had to do "cutesy" - though I can't remember that exact first message. Your caller was allowed up to a minute for their message - if they had more to say, tough luck!

This was my first foray into anything High Tech and I was totally jazzed at the freedom my new answering machine was going to give me! I showed it off to all my friends. I laughed at some of the first phone messages I received - people were so taken by surprise they sputtered for most of the message or just hung up!

It's been a long time since that first phone message machine, I have a smart phone, 3 computers, MP3 players - you name it, if it has buttons and computer chips I have one! But sometimes I look back at the days before technology followed me around like a puppy and think that maybe simpler is better.

Oh crap, I've got phone again, can't people just leave me alone for five minutes????

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  1. I hate to admit it, but I've grown to detest talking on the phone! A handful of friends excepted. As a teenager, I was seldom seen without a handset glued to my ear. Why do I find e-mail so much more relaxing and less demanding? I don't know. I don't get it. People tell me I was always ahead of my time. I always loved to type. It's a mystery I'll ponder. Although lately, my e-mail volume has increased so much, I admit: I'm starting to make more phone calls again.

  2. Yes, the phone still has an immediacy that even e-mail or IM doesn't. If you get a person and not voice mail, at least!

    Plus it's nice to hear a voice every now and then and have the enjoyment of talking over each other in excitement, lol.

    I've yet to get into video conferencing on the computer though I think I'd like it except for I'd have to worry about what I looked like!

  3. Things change, that's for sure. Keeps us in toys.

    I think I'd rather a powerpoint on a video conference inside of video of me.

  4. Heidi - yes, things have changed and they keep on changing! Most of the time I think that's a good thing, I do love my "toys".

    Though sometimes I miss the days of being a little more "incommunicado", lol. Especially when the phone is ringing off the hook!

  5. Although I find it somewhat annoying when people are walking around in the market or at the bank and I am not sure if they are takling to me....and then I notice the bluetooth stuck in the ear. I do own a cell phone and I make sure I have it with me in case anyone needs to talk to me right now....I too had the old school answering machine....and I was not home people had to wait for me to get back with them.

  6. ARLENE - I was one of the early adopters of blue tooth years ago.

    I would be walking around talking on the phone (and waving my hands as I talked, I'm one of those too), people would answer me or ask me "what?". I'd have to point to the blue tooth device.

    Once when I pointed to the headset one person said, "Oh, I'm sorry!" and then started talking louder - they thought I was hard of hearing and the headset was a hearing aid, lol.


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