Just off of I-65, about forty miles from downtown Indianapolis is an ordinary McDonalds. There, I was greeted by this pay phone. Remember these? Immediately, two songs from my childhood pop in my head.
“867-5309/Jenny” By Tommy Tutone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WTdTwcmxyo
“Call Me” By Skyy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYpNQXK6lpM
Yes, I’m dating myself here, but that’s okay. You see, ironically enough, both songs were from 1981. The early 80s was an era where disco was slowly fading, hard rock still dominated the music scene, and electronic dance and funk were coming on, as well as a new kind of music, soft rock. Go figure.
And, I got to tell you, the wonderful mix of music was very influential to my coming of age. Ah, the good ol’ days…Okay, back to task…
So, let’s fast forward to McDonalds. I’m humming the tunes. Each taking their turn in my brain, while I’m standing in line to order a medium coffee and oatmeal to go. Finally, with the bag of my paid purchases in hand, I pass by this dinosaur of a communication machine again.
Pushing the songs in the background of my mind, I got to thinking. Today, we are living in such a fast world where technical companies are at war on who can make the fastest, sleekest phone with all the gadgets from tracking your steps, food intake, and mood modeling, all at your fingertips, 24/7.
In my youth, one had to drive, walk, or ride a bike to find a pay phone. They were usually at gas stations or grocery stores. If you look back at some of the television shows/movies of the 1980’s, you’ll notice that secret conversations were often held at pay phones, rendezvous happened near the pay phones, and arrests and burglary heists were made at those spots.
These days, I just have to pull out my cell phone out of my purse, and I can make a call, read a book, and track the happenings of the world, with just a few clicks.
Are we better off as a result of this great technology? Are we more connected to family and friends? Are we more available to those in need? The biggest question currently rocking in my brain (ha, did you get that, “rocking”) is: are we more sincere in the time we give of ourselves to others?
The pay phone reminds me of the lack of relationship-building we’ve lost due to things being instantaneously available. People at that time made an effort to call someone. They spent the $0. 25 cents or more to talk and hear someone’s voice, and really listen. They had to physically get to the pay phone, maybe grab a snack or buy food on the way in or way out of the establishment, and usually their mood would change as a result of a good or bad conversation.
We can’t go back, but maybe the next time you see a pay phone, let it be your reminder to connect with others in a way of sincerity and compassion for the human race because that’s all we got left.
#payphone #connecting #callme #8675309 #the80s #Onehitwonders #stayconnected #besincere #payphoneversuscellphone