How did we ever get by without mobiles and the web?
Published 20/01/2016 | 02:30
My phone line was down recently thanks to one of those many winter storms which we will all just have to get used to.
While checking my email on a neighbour's PC, someone commented that the changes in technology since I was a child must seem amazing. Bloody cheeky of them really as I don't consider myself to be that old, but it is amusing to recall the horrors of party lines and those awful old Bakelite phones with the handle you wound to contact the local operator.
Everything happens so instantly these days, it is easy to forget the time it used to take to make a simple phone call which was the only means of communication other than the post. When you did get through, there was still no certainty the operator would be able to connect you to whoever you were calling.
It did have some advantages though as when attempting to be connected to a neighbours phone you might be told by the operator "Ah sure you needn't bother trying. I saw them drive by half an hour ago and they haven't come back yet".
Or better again was being told that the person you wished to contact had called in to get stamps or whatever and said they were going to Dublin for the day.
All valuable information and in its way, perhaps better than the awful taped messages we have to sit and listen to nowadays while an electronic voice tells us "All our lines are busy. We are sorry we cannot take your call but in the meantime press two and a member of staff will be with you as soon as possible". Is this progress?
Certainly not, but I cannot imagine now doing without mobile phones, emails or internet access.
Everyone from the age of four upwards seems to have a mobile phone these days and it is wonderful to be able to stay in touch, wherever in the world you might be.