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Are you glad they're gone - or do you miss them?

& what do you do if you forgot your phone or if the batteries are flat and you need to contact someone in an emergency?

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by Anonymousreply 58January 30, 2023 3:26 AM

I don't own a cell phone and don't want one. I get along just fine.

by Anonymousreply 1January 27, 2023 11:27 PM

Nowadays everybody would be shitting their pants over getting COVID.

by Anonymousreply 2January 27, 2023 11:28 PM

I sure miss them!

by Anonymousreply 3January 27, 2023 11:37 PM

Why wouldn't people just use their cell phones?

by Anonymousreply 4January 28, 2023 12:00 AM

I used to write down their phone numbers and then call at odd times, confusing whomever was standing nearby.

by Anonymousreply 5January 28, 2023 12:01 AM

I’d call them with my watch.

by Anonymousreply 6January 28, 2023 12:21 AM

Yes, I do miss them for their convenience.

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by Anonymousreply 7January 28, 2023 12:25 AM

[quote]what do you do if you forgot your phone

I go back and get my phone.

[quote]or if the batteries are flat

I charge it. I never let it go down to 0. Not once in 20 years of cell phone usage. Even in public, there are outlets in restaurants and coffee places and if you're a customer they don't care if you charge your phone.

[quote]and you need to contact someone in an emergency?

Without a cell phone? I'd ask to borrow someone's phone, or I'd look for a business and beg them to let me make a call. I'm not even sure what scenario you're imagining. In most emergencies like accidents or crimes being committed, your phone isn't going to be much help until after it's over. You're not going to stop a mugger or prevent a car crash with a cell phone.

by Anonymousreply 8January 28, 2023 12:33 AM

"Convenience?" Some grimy chunk of plastic crawling with germs and attached to a 2 foot cable in some random public location is more convenient than a literal computer/Star Trek communicator that you carry in your pocket?


by Anonymousreply 9January 28, 2023 12:36 AM

"what do you do if you forgot your phone or if the batteries are flat and you need to contact someone in an emergency? "

Seriously? I suppose I could forget where my car was or where my house is too?

by Anonymousreply 10January 28, 2023 12:40 AM

If I didn’t have my phone with me a pay phone wouldn’t help. I don’t know anyone’s phone numbers.

by Anonymousreply 11January 28, 2023 12:47 AM

I think they still have their place though not everywhere like they used to be. It isn't just a dead battery, but lost, broken (or FAR more likely) no signal at all.

I know you L.A. and NYC bitches don't believe it but there are large swaths of land in this country that have no/poor cell service (and this includes upstate NY and a lot of California).

[quote]I don’t know anyone’s phone numbers.

This is probably the real issue, but if your cell has power, at least you can punch it in on a pay phone.

I would say that all pay phones should accept cards (they always did at the airport from what I remember).

On a street corner in Chicago? No.

On a few rest stops driving from Chicago to Quincy IL? Sure.

by Anonymousreply 12January 28, 2023 12:56 AM

They have their place. I've not had a landline since the very early 2000s. The only time it was an issue was the NYC blackout of 2004. I was supposed to fly home the next day, and the power was still out, and my cell wasn't working, so I had no way of knowing if flights were canceled. I used a payphone in front of my building to call my family to check, and they called me back on that payphone. Flights were still on, and I went as scheduled.

by Anonymousreply 13January 28, 2023 12:59 AM

My grandma always told me to keep a dime and a token in one sock - so if I was mugged I could still call her and get home.

by Anonymousreply 14January 28, 2023 1:09 AM

I always check to make sure I have my phone whenever I leave the house. I live in the sticks of New England.

by Anonymousreply 15January 28, 2023 1:17 AM

Wake up. Cities are now installing telecommunication/wifi/antenna/recharging stations, especially in under-wired or poor neighborhoods. Sometimes they have a function where you can make a call from the station.

by Anonymousreply 16January 28, 2023 1:19 AM

I remember on 9/11 people were waiting in line to use a payphone.

by Anonymousreply 17January 28, 2023 1:24 AM

December 3, 2022

[quote]a Philadelphia-based collective, PhilTel, is jumping into the past with a modern twist, by installing free-to-use pay phones throughout the city.


[quote]the pay phones that many of us grew up were removed from public places years ago. There no longer seemed to be a need for them when most people had a phone in their pocket or in their hand. But it's easy to forget that not everyone has or wants that luxury. For some people, staying that connected all the time can be too much and for others, it's simply financially impossible to own a cell phone.

[quote]Cell phones are expensive, and when you add the cost of a phone plan or paying for minutes, they quickly become out of reach for many people on fixed incomes or those experiencing homelessness. PhilTel's aim is to help close this gap by making phones accessible to all. There's only one catch: You have to leave the quarters at home!

[quote]The phones are not new, they're actually refurbished pay phones and will use a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to connect callers.

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by Anonymousreply 18January 28, 2023 1:54 AM

Payphone locator, I don't know how up-to-date it is.

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by Anonymousreply 19January 28, 2023 1:57 AM

I miss everything.

by Anonymousreply 20January 28, 2023 2:12 AM

R19 I'll tell you how up-to-date it is: 1) The listed area code for my town changed decades ago, and 2) It lists the payphone at the strip club up the street that was demolished, again, years and years ago.

by Anonymousreply 21January 28, 2023 4:40 AM

All pay phones in Australia have been free for a couple of years now. Rather than rip them out because hardly anybody was using them the main carrier made them free. They also double as free wireless hotspots.

by Anonymousreply 22January 28, 2023 4:46 AM

Here's a gratuitous payphone story. In the early 1980s I lived exactly kitty-corner from the notorious backroom bar of J's in the meat market district of Manhattan. I befriended an upstairs neighbor. We both faced 14th Ave. Shitty apartments, but cheap and safe 24/7 because of the amount of street traffic and foot traffic. At night there were endless streams of gay men heading to the sex clubs of the meat market, and drag queens heading to the trucks, which used to park under the abandoned overhead railway tracks (now Highline Park!). My upstairs neighbor had written down and memorized the phone number of the payphone across the street. Sometimes we'd be talking on the phone and he'd say, "hey, quick hang up. There's a drag queen walking down the street and I'm gonna call her on the payphone". Soon I'd hear the phone out on the street ringing, and then the drag queen picking up. The first few times, I didn't have the sense to turn off my light, and whatever my friend would be saying to the drag queen would have her irate. She'd look up, see my light on, and me laughing, and she'd start to throw things up at my window, including heels if she had a spare pair Later, I'd ask my friend, "What did you say to her?" . "Oh, I told her I've seen prettier women in Soviet prison camps" or "honey, I can see your five-o'clock shadow clear across the street - who do you think you're fooling" "or "whatever you stuffed down that bustier has slid out and dropped down to your stomach" ="things like that". It was very juvenile fun in a way, (we were in our early 20s), but also a slice of life that was very specific to that time and place. All of that is long gone.

I often wondered why I didn't call some of the cute men passing by, but by the time I lived in that apt, it was the very beginning of the AIDS crisis, we all were scared, and I think I had myself convinced that I would meet "healthier" men other ways.

by Anonymousreply 23January 28, 2023 9:06 AM

I got my first car phone in 1995. I haven't used a pay phone since

by Anonymousreply 24January 28, 2023 9:15 AM

Will no one think of the tart cards?

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by Anonymousreply 25January 28, 2023 11:46 AM

Gorgeous 14th Avenue in Manhattan!

by Anonymousreply 26January 28, 2023 12:25 PM

R7- Who is that?

Christopher Reeves is the ONLY Superman

by Anonymousreply 27January 28, 2023 12:26 PM

R23 Love this story!

by Anonymousreply 28January 28, 2023 12:48 PM

Meat Packing District / 14th Street / The Highline

by Anonymousreply 29January 28, 2023 2:34 PM

Ahh—14th Avenue. Talk about memories. I miss it.

by Anonymousreply 30January 28, 2023 3:00 PM

Scattered pictures , R30.

by Anonymousreply 31January 28, 2023 3:03 PM

I went to 14th Avenue once. It was all wet.

by Anonymousreply 32January 28, 2023 3:17 PM

I remember on 9/11 most people lost cell service and people were lined up at phone booths to use them.

by Anonymousreply 33January 28, 2023 3:18 PM

^along 14th Ave.

by Anonymousreply 34January 28, 2023 3:20 PM

Back on 9/11 cell phones weren’t ubiquitous yet - and all sorts of broadcast infrastructure was on top of one tower. I tried to call my mom from my apartment landline and it took awhile to get through - the phone lines were swamped.

by Anonymousreply 35January 28, 2023 3:23 PM

R9 "a literal computer"

Do you speak as stupidly as you type?

by Anonymousreply 36January 28, 2023 3:25 PM

Pay phones were provided to the public as a service by the telephone company — Ma Bell back before she was broken up — and were always operated at a loss. I know it will flummox the younger folks here, but there was a time when corporations felt a need to give back to the community. Those phones were engineered to survive pretty much anything; hence the metal cords that were almost uncuttable, and the handset and the coin box on par with Fort Knox.

Then there were the home versions of pay phones. A friend growing up had one of those; his father said he and his 8 brothers and sisters talked on the phone too much, so he took out all of the extensions (they had two!) and put in a single pay phone. I searched for a picture to attach here, but nothing on google came up with the style he had. We had a trick to piss off his father, though. He'd call me, let it ring once, hang up and call right back and let my phone again ring once and hang up. So long as no one answered, his phone refunded the dime. I knew to call him back, and then we'd talk for as long as possible, usually until one of his siblings bitched at him to get off the phone so they could use it.

by Anonymousreply 37January 28, 2023 3:47 PM

I miss using them for stalking and obscene phone calls.

by Anonymousreply 38January 28, 2023 3:53 PM

I’d like to go back to face to face communication. Im tiering of the bait and switch nation.If you can’t look em in the eye the deal gets funky. Each person has to be like a little lawyer now even within families The cellphone has a little string around our nutsacks. The world has just gotten shittier and shiftier with all this electronic crap. You kids have no idea how your world has gotten. Ranting I know, sorry.

by Anonymousreply 39January 28, 2023 4:01 PM

Miss them

by Anonymousreply 40January 28, 2023 4:05 PM

Don't say gurl puhlease - but what you Americans don't realise is how nice American pay phones were, you had those lovely shiny things with metal buttons and they usually actually WORKED.

Our pay phones in England looked like something out of [bold]Communist Russia[/bold] and were as bad as they looked, to use. You need to click on this to see it in its full glory. We had these same crappy contraptions for DECADES.

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by Anonymousreply 41January 28, 2023 4:29 PM

All phone lines were swamped on 9/11. My landline stopped working for hours that day and I'm not even in New York. Cell phones weren't yet ubiquitous, I didn't have one in 2001.

Not sure what the comparisons are meant to convey but 9/11 was 22 years ago and phone usage and electronic communication were bith much different then. No smart phones, very little texting, and still very much a Web 1.0 world. If 9/11 happened today everyone would be running to social media or texting their friends and family. Very few people would see making a phone call as their logical or even their only communication option. I can't fathom anyone needing a pay phone for something like 9/11 today.

by Anonymousreply 42January 28, 2023 5:27 PM

We still have them in the UK and jolly useful they are too!

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by Anonymousreply 43January 28, 2023 5:31 PM

[quote]All phone lines were swamped on 9/11. My landline stopped working for hours that day...

Then you were in the vast minority of people outside of lower Manhattan who lost service that day. The telephone network showed its strength that day, handling the billions of calls people made. I was on the phone when the reports started coming in that "a small plane has hit the South tower" and spent so many hours on the phone that I feared what my cellular bill was going to look like... and then AT&T announced that all calls were comped that day, giving away hundreds of $millions (because that was still when the phone company felt it had some obligation to the people it served).

by Anonymousreply 44January 28, 2023 6:27 PM

How would one shoot a selfie of their hole using a pay phone?

by Anonymousreply 45January 28, 2023 6:36 PM

Thanks oh dear and other editors of my story above. Note to self: when telling 40 year old anecdotes on DL, take a moment to clean up details for your sharp-eyed (and sharp-tongued) readers! 14th street and 9th ave. The High Line The meat packing district, where carcasses hanging from hooks moved along in a sort of conveyor belt. Left NYC in 1986 and have only been back 4 or 5 times since, but have memories (a little fractured as the above mistakes prove) to last me the rest of my life

by Anonymousreply 46January 28, 2023 7:54 PM

[quote] Even in public, there are outlets in restaurants and coffee places and if you're a customer they don't care if you charge your phone.

I guess you have to carry around a cord and a plug.

by Anonymousreply 47January 28, 2023 8:02 PM

R46 - at first I thought you were an EST then I figured you just forgot some of the details.

by Anonymousreply 48January 28, 2023 8:08 PM

After the phone company’s were deregulated around 95 I believe. I made a credit card call to a place 40 miles away for about 3 minutes. I was charged 45 dollars about half a days wages for me then. The corruption monkey finds a way to take advantage.

by Anonymousreply 49January 28, 2023 8:25 PM

If what you mean by "the corruption monkey" is capitalism, R49, then I agree. The reason the telephone company was broken up (in 1983) was, at its most simplistic level, due to that the telephone company was anti-competition as a regulated monopoly. Your example of paying exorbitant cost for a "long distance" call is the result of divestiture, the technical term for how local service was separated from carriage.

You see, prior to 1983, the law that governed the telephone company forced it to provide local service for the same price whether you lived in Manhattan (where the cost was spread out among millions of users making any single phone/line cheap) or upstate New York where your nearest neighbor (and telephone switch) was miles away making the cost to provide dialtone to your home much more expensive. The trade-off the old telephone company made with the government was to charge more for long distance to offset the costs for local service. The government viewed telephone service as a basic need (not a right because that has specific meaning when we're talking about the government, but that's really how it was viewed) and demanded that everyone have a network connection. That's why long distance was so expensive.

After divestiture, the phone company could no longer offset the costs of local service thusly, so it began by selling off some of the unprofitable portions of its service, with pay phones being among the most money-losing. In the Northeast, one of the first things NYNEX (one of the baby bells formed by divestiture) sold was its payphones to GTE, and as a private company that was not under the regulated umbrella of the telephone system, they were free to charge whatever they wanted for your call. Hence, a "local" call with a GTE pay phone was a quarter, but suddenly people were charged long distance rates for making calls a few miles away. The circumference of a "local" call shrunk to distances measured in feet as opposed to miles. And because the court made sure that such regulation made possible through a monopoly was a thing of the past, there was no reason for GTE to connect your call for the pennies it cost instead of what amounts to highway robbery of $45 (about $88 in today's dollars).

At least those days are over and now you can make a videocall (if you want to talk about expensive, those did exist since the late 60s, but was so expensive that even the phone company didn't bother trying) for basically free.

by Anonymousreply 50January 29, 2023 7:11 PM

Why would anyone be glad they were gone?

by Anonymousreply 51January 30, 2023 12:51 AM

[quote]I guess you have to carry around a cord and a plug.

They're called chargers, Cletus, and yes, we city slickers "carry them around."

This place is truly unbelievable sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 52January 30, 2023 1:01 AM

R36, smartphones are, indeed, literal computers. You're actually the one who is the idiot here.

Is it all elderly shut ins from Bumfucke, RedState here on the weekends? What gives? Half of this thread sounds like moronic rubes who haven't interacted with technology newer than an 8 track cassette player. Really bizarre to witness.

by Anonymousreply 53January 30, 2023 1:11 AM

So you carry one with you everywhere r52? On public transport?.

by Anonymousreply 54January 30, 2023 1:17 AM

I’m not R25, R54, but yes I always have a charger on me. You probably have one attached to the dashboard of your car, and can charge up your phone while driving around if you need to.

Lots of us who live in cities and don’t have cars, and the attendant trunk space where you can store things you may need as you go about your day, carry a messenger or gym bad around religiously - mine contains among other things an umbrella, some extra prescription pills, a gym lock and my phone charger - it’s like a glove compartment you sling over your shoulder.

by Anonymousreply 55January 30, 2023 1:47 AM

**Excuse me, I’m not R52. I also always have a book I’m reading in there, a reusable shopping bag in case I get some groceries on the way home, mail I grab on the way out of the building in the morning - just the day to day life stuff you need with you if you walk or subway everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 56January 30, 2023 2:07 AM

I have this recurring nightmare that I'm in danger or in some bad situation I need to get out of, and I desperately need to contact someone over a payphone but I keep running out of coins or keep dialing the wrong number or can't get through or the phone has no dial tone.

I wonder what the dream means, because nothing like that ever happened to me.

by Anonymousreply 57January 30, 2023 2:21 AM

Da fuq is so unbelievable about carrying a cell phone charger? They slip into your pocket or, as others noted, a messenger bag or are just kept in your car.

It's also common (brace yourselves) to own multiple chargers. I keep one at work and have 2 different ones at home in the bedroom and in my home office. They're sold everywhere, too.

I swear some of you sound like you haven't had a normal human interaction since 1974.

by Anonymousreply 58January 30, 2023 3:26 AM
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