When I was a young(er) lad not too long ago, answering the phone always seemed to be a major chore, if not a royal pain the a$$! As soon as the phone would ring, there would be a heated argument around the ol’ household over who would answer the thing!

“You get it!” “No, I got it last time! You get it!” “I answered it last time! It’s your turn!” Nobody wanted to answer the call! It was usually because a salesperson may be on the other end, somebody nobody wanted to speak with somebody as Aunt Muriel may be on the other end, or it’s someone else bringing us some news nobody wanted to hear about. These little episodes both produced massive eye rolls from my parents when they were the ones that picked up the call. However, the call was usually for them. When I and my fellow siblings got older (age 13 and up), we started to receive more phone calls intended for us. However, we still had to weed through the incoming calls sorting the ones out between phone calls for us (the kids) and calls for them. (The parents!)

Now, it seems like it is the total opposite. If our cell phones make a noise of some sort with a traditional cell phone ring (whatever a traditional cell phone ring is) or making a “ding” sound with just a notification, we nearly break our arms off trying to get them out of our pockets and purses! And if we didn’t get there fast enough to take the call, we made damn well sure we would get back to the caller within a split second!

Wha’ happened? Why did we become so much more attentive to these little devices than we did to our old phones growing up? 

The answer is rather simple. Because we know the message is intended for us! Long before Caller ID became a common household staple in the late 1980’s, you had no idea who was on the other line or who they wanted to talk to! Nowadays, we have our own personal answering machine, call-waiting system, caller ID, answering service, and a telegram-esque a.k.a. text messaging system sitting in the palm of our hands, or pocket, or purse, or where we place the phone! And every message and call coming in is intended for us and nobody else! 

One can see why phone messages love to be received, just as long as they know that the call coming in is one that’s expected or even desired! Granted, there are a few phone calls that we don’t care to receive. However, since every cell phone device in this ever lovin’ world has a caller ID system built in, we will know who is on the other end! If we see a phone number we don’t know or know of, we can either take the risk and answer the call hoping for the best, or we can scoff off the call to either call later, if at all! And since we only give out our phone number to people or sources that we want to give our numbers to, we can control the flow of traffic coming in at a much better rate.

For those that still have their land line as many people, in spite of what one would believe, still keep holding on to for various reasons, some folks give that land line number to those of their lesser importance. Thus, you will never receive a call from that lesser importance source through your cell phone. That is, unless they find out that the phone number you gave them isn’t a cell phone number and discover you do have a cell phone number! Yours truly still maintains a land line phone and number to go with it. That is because I have had the phone number for nearly twenty-five years, and a few folks I once communicated with still have that number within their files, although most of those people either now have my cell number, or are those I no longer have any business with. Also, the cell phone reception around my neck of the woods can be pretty dicey. So keeping a hard line may be the only way to send out calls.

As to receiving calls through the hard line? The only calls I tend to get on that hard line are either from robots attempting to offer me goods and/or service, or from a live person calling me from some third world nation located somewhere in Asia doing the same thing, usually with the intention of scamming me out! So instead of subscribing to a caller ID service, I just don’t answer the phone! Once in a while I’ll get a call that’s legit. But for the most part, the land line doesn’t get the same priority as to the cell phone.

And for the record, those extra phone services that the local phone company such as AT&T used to advertise for a land line still offer those same services. (Caller ID, call waiting, voice mail, etc.) You just have to ask for it, although not many do so much as they used to!

As now now, the phones we all carry can be much of a blessing as it is a curse. You can take one call at a time and be done with it, or you can check to see who texted you every twenty minutes! Whatever the case, you can know if Aunt Muriel tries to call you over matter that’s important to her, while for you, it’s all bulls#it! Or if you do get a call from a robot attempting to sell you an idea or product, you can brush ‘em off! (Yep, you can receive robot calls to your cell phone, too!) The whole joy is the fact that the good news can come in, whole the bad news falls on the wayside. And that’s isn’t so bad!


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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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