Due to the proliferation of mobile phones, the payphone is going the way of the dialup modem and frame relay. Where VoIP, SIP and MPLS represent the future, payphones have become a symbol of the past in the telecom world. In this article let’s discover things people will miss when payphones will get extinct.
Payphones were most popular during the 20th century, particularly in the decades before the internet, cell phones and email. Here are some of the things everyone will miss when payphones become extinct.
If you needed change or enjoyed the thrill of finding money (who doesn’t?), payphones gave you the opportunity to accomplish both. Walking around town, inspecting payphone change dispensers could provide hours of excitement.
Before mobile phones existed, if you wanted to call your parents for a ride home, you used a payphone. To save yourself the change necessary to make that call, you could call your parents collect and have them decline the call. That would be the signal that you were ready for them to come pick you up.
Without payphones there are no phone booths.
A clean, well-lit phone booth could be a mini sanctuary on a cold, wintery day. There was something romantic about calling a girlfriend from a payphone in a phone booth, most likely after a night of drinking with friends.
Phone booths also provided us some funny movie moments, like the phone booth scene in Dumb and Dumber.
Or suspenseful ones, like the Trinity escapes scene in The Matrix.
What’s more fun than looking up a listing in a phone book and then ripping out the page, folding it up and taking it with you? Who needs smart phones when you had access to five pound tomes filled with germy pages, wired to unmoving phone machines?
A payphone receiver had to be a good three pounds and the metal cord it was attached to seemed unbreakable. If you were being attacked and ran into a payphone, a payphone receiver would make a nice last line of defense.
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