If you belong to the generation which still remembers the first time ever that you’ve seen a cell phone, then you’re already smiling with a few ideas on your mind!
Indeed, life was so much simpler back then when it comes to communication. If you arranged to meet with someone, you did it via a “regular” phone, or you had set the date in person. In case someone was late, the only thing left to do was to wait a bit longer, or just leave. You couldn’t call up someone and say: "Hey, I’ll be fifteen minutes’ late”. Today it seems unimaginable, doesn’t it?
The first mobile phone call ever was made in 1983, and the USA was the first country to start selling them at a staggering price of $4,000. As you can probably guess, Nokia 1100 was selling like hot cakes (0ver 250 million devices), which actually made it the bestselling electrical gadget ever! That was just the beginning of the craze as we know it.
None of this couldn’t have happened if there weren’t for 250,000 separate patents used to create today’s smartphones. Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola at the time, is said to be the inventor of the cell phone. Apparently, he was inspired by Star Trek.
While we are living the future, let’s take a brief look back at why we still feel nostalgic about those big old cell phones that we love so much.
20 It can be a powerful asset
What on earth are you going to do with your cell phone today if someone attacks you? It will probably just slip from your fingers right onto the pavement. They aren’t too easy to carry around, are they? A big, useless, flat surface. Or they are just right for your huge hands, but that’s it.
On the other hand, if you used to have your reliable Nokia with you, you could’ve caused some serious injuries! One of the very first mobile phones, Motorola’s DynaTAC8000X, aka “the brick”, weighed 2 pounds. Talk about a cold weapon. Fun fact: you were only able to talk for half an hour before it had to be recharged again. (Source: Gizmodo)
19 The unbreakable
Ah, the good old Nokia 3310. The phone, the legend. The inspiration for so many memes today. You can’t help but smile at it, can you?
The truth is such devices in the old days were less fragile than the phones of today. Whichever mask you get for your mobile phone, your heart stops every time it falls on the floor. As for the Nokia and the like, you would simply put it back together IF it fell apart. Not to mention the screen was perfectly untouched, whereas nowadays you ponder buying a new screen or a new phone since it is so pricey.
18 Fewer emissions
Today’s cell phones with their Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and LTE connections are emitting a fair share of electromagnetic fields, much more than the old ones used to do. In addition, we are definitely using them more frequently, thus heating our tissue over its regular temperature. The question lingering is: are there any connections between cell phones’ radiation and diseases?
Unfortunately, no answer is definite. It is hard to conduct research properly with mobile phones always advancing, and the time span is relatively short for this. One thing is for sure, though: the old versions definitely had fewer emissions, and we needn’t have worried about it. (Source: AndroidAuthority)
17 You weren’t so easily reached
Nowadays, it’s so hard to keep business and your personal life separated. How many times has it happened to you that you couldn’t resist opening your business email? Even if you didn’t want to, that little beep reminded you of your daily obligations once again, right in the middle of the family barbecue. Don’t you just wish to toss it away sometimes?
Back in the day, there was something liberating about not being reachable at all times. Also, people kept their promises more. If you had agreed to meet at a certain hour, you actually would!
16 You had better sleep
Wouldn’t you say your sleeping habits have changed over the years, and it doesn’t have to do as much with your work routine, as it has to do with your cell phone? Admittedly, the last thing that we do before going to bed is checking the phone for notifications. Over and over again. We need to check this app and the next…Maybe we’ll miss out on something vital! Teenagers are especially susceptible to this, and we know they need sleep the most in order to develop properly.
A long time ago, we still used actual alarm clocks and didn’t bother much about our cell phones. Nothing to see there, except for a message perhaps. But those were usually limited and saved for later, instead of using WiFi for an endless stream of data.
15 Better posture
If it’s in the memes and cartoons, you know it’s true. We are all turning into slouched zombies. Slouched, not ordinary brain eaters. Not that zombies are known to walk straight, but they certainly have better posture and focus than we do today.
According to a spine surgeon, looking down on your mobile phone puts the same strain on our body as if we had a 60-pound weight on our necks. For a better image, try picturing an average eight-year-old sitting on your head while you’re reading the latest tweets.
We can’t say that used to happen with the old versions. Surely, the only part of your body that would be sore is your arm if you used the very first models, but eventually, we were all still sane and healthy enough not to use them overly. (Source: LifeHacker)
14 Texting and walking
Something we can’t do nowadays, can we? You can’t just type a message and still know where you are going. While there were regular keyboards, one could type without looking at the phone all the time. It was so much quicker! You could even start running and still be able to send the desired text.
This is probably one of the reasons for the previously mentioned bad posture. You have to keep track of things, or you’ll send the wrong emoji. Even communication was much simpler, and more honest, too. While emoticons are said to have improved our communication, they have advanced too much, and been abused way too much for them to still carry their original meaning. Or do you really think your friend is crying and laughing at the same time?
13 No need for extra chargers
Ah, those good old days when you the battery could last for five days even! If we’re not zombies, then we have certainly turned into real Harry Potters when looking for the available socket! It’s either that, or we’re carrying around an extra portable charger, just in case. Aren’t you fed up with your phone always letting you down when you need it the most?
True enough, during the 80s and sometime in the 90s, cell phones had big batteries which couldn’t last very long either. Also, they made the phone extremely bulky and heavy. Nevertheless, in the late 90s Nickel Metal Hydride batteries were introduced, and they are the reason for today’s stories about the legendary battery duration of the ancient cell phones. (Source: ChargeTech)
12 No need for various updates
Don’t you just roll your eyes every time your favorite app asks for updating, aka devouring the phone’s memory? If it weren’t for the constant updates, we would all be perfectly happy with our devices for a much longer period of time. However, we usually end up buying a new model because the old one just keeps “freezing” all the time.
In the 90s, cell phone users were totally oblivious to the updating stress as we know it nowadays. You needn’t have monitored the cell phone’s internal memory all the time. You knew exactly how many phone numbers you are allowed to memorize (maybe a hundred or two), and after all, most people didn’t even have one, so once again – no stress.
11 People had better socializing skills
An average person checks their phone 110 times during the day. That’s the average, including senior citizens.
How many times have you witnessed friends staring at their phones instead of talking? Actually, they are talking to someone, i.e. sending texts, but not you. Isn’t that just rude in its essence? Yet, this has become a force of habit, and everyone is doing it. Even you, right?
Socializing skills have certainly deteriorated in a way that it’s much harder to start a conversation in person rather than online, isn’t it? However, humans are social beings, and the lack of personal touch is certainly not doing us any favors.
10 It was much easier to purchase one
True, isn’t it? You only observed its overall looks, asked about the battery, and how many phone numbers it can store. Perhaps songs and melodies, if we're talking about the later models. But that was it! It basically would come down to its size or its battery life. Maybe even the color. In contrast, nowadays buying a new phone is something that a practical guide should be written about!
The camera resolution, memory size, battery duration, Android or iOS, two phone cards or just one, screen resolution, bloatware, a memory card, and a whole plethora of other things which you have no idea about are now having to be taken into account when deciding on your new model.
9 Best game ever
The one and only – Snake!
While today people are constantly getting hooked on games and after some time getting bored of it, so the cycle begins again, that did not use to happen. Sure, there were some other games on offer as the cell phone evolved, but eventually, it would all come down to Snake.
One just couldn’t get enough of it. The simplest things are the best, aren’t they? The excitement and pride you felt when the snake got longer, and the screen suddenly seemed smaller. You never knew where the little blinking dot would appear (or disappear). Yes, it took so little to be happy.
8 It was OK to forget the phone
Oh, the horror! Leaving your phone somewhere! Forgetting it at your friend’s/the café/work! Immediately you start freaking out because you’re left without your most valuable companion, without your entertainment, or connection to work and important contacts and schedule (because that’s where everything is, right). You know your life gets instantly complicated the moment you forget it.
Still, forgetting to take your cell phone with you wasn’t much of a bother back then. People were still meeting when they said they would, and no one expected you to be available 24/7 anyway. You would go back and take it the next day – it really wasn’t too big of a deal, and there weren’t 20 unanswered calls and a dozen messages and updates waiting for your response.
7 Easy maintenance
If something was wrong with it (though it didn’t happen often), you would have the phone repaired really soon. Basically, there weren’t that many things that could go wrong back then.
To illustrate the point, just think what would happen (heaven forbid!) if you accidentally broke the screen on your phone. You know the ending very well – you would have to choose between buying a new phone or fixing the one you have. Replacing the screen can sometimes cost a fortune.
On the other hand, it would first be very difficult to break one of those small screens. You really had to try hard for it to go into pieces. Even when it happened, it wouldn’t bother you much.
6 No rude messages
With the new models, it’s only too easy to take a screenshot of the conversation, save a racy photo, or shoot an embarrassing video and threaten that it could go viral, unless something is done for you. Social media is a gift, but also a curse. Blackmailing has never been easier, and sometimes it even leads to teenagers going down a dark hole.
Do you recall any such cases when the first cell phones appeared? Of course not. The cell phone was still a perfectly innocent invention which was only possessed by the few, and children didn’t have one for a long time. (Source: IrishTimes)
5 Stress level: low
It has to be mentioned once again how stress-free we used to be compared to the present situation. You wouldn’t freak out if you didn’t know where your child was at that exact moment. People were traveling and eating without showing off their success immediately via networks. Even better, if you went on vacation, no one bothered you! There was no WiFi, and calls and messages were too expensive to chat idly. Today, you are expected to let everyone know you have arrived at your destination and answer the same questions forty times.
We didn't feel the panic if someone was unreachable at the moment. The mobile operators were still trying to cover all the areas, so having no reception was quite ordinary at times.
4 They were smaller
OK, we aren’t talking about the original giants that first appeared, but as the time went by, the late 90s saw some pretty cool models which were much more easily held than today’s Samsungs. Seriously, some phones nowadays are so large that it’s difficult to walk down the street and have a conversation without the earphones.
Size matters, as always. The fact remains it was easier to fit them into your purse when you were going out clubbing than it is today. Now you feel as if you had to shove a tablet into your stylish tiny bag.
3 We were more real
Basically, we felt the power of the moment. Today, with all those fancy cameras and high resolutions, we sometimes forget to just let go and enjoy ourselves. We deem that by capturing the event on camera we’ll have greater memories. Quite the contrary. It is by taking part in it that we remember certain things best.
When you are taking a photo, you aren’t actually fully present, are you? You are more focused on the trembling of your hand, getting the right angle, wondering about the filters…Which has absolutely nothing to do with your favorite rock band playing, or your team winning.
2 We had better photos
Not with the cell phones, of course! Taking photos was only a dream, and hardly anyone was thinking about it. The cell phone was still a huge thing to possess and people were very enthusiastic about them. Either way, if you wished to take a photo, you used to have a proper camera for that, not a phone.
It cannot be denied that cameras take better quality photos. In addition, answer this question: how many photos have you actually printed out? You’ve got a thousand or so on your cell phone, haven't you? And thousands of them on the laptop. But do you really have it, since you can’t hold it? Not really. Old cell phones were way better precisely because they didn’t have all of the “accessories” to distract us and trick us we have something we don't.
1 They gave us more suspense and excitement
Whenever you can have something (or someone) on a silver plate, it’s no longer that interesting, is it? Let’s see what romance was like ages ago.
If you got someone’s contact, you didn’t immediately add them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram to find out their likes/dislikes. You had to actually talk to them. And let us remind you one more time, that was pretty pricey back then. Usually, you would run out of credit, especially if you were talking on the phone to your loved one. Therefore, you had to meet in person to really see if you get along. No inspecting the profiles, looking for secret meanings in the statuses and photos... You never knew what really to expect until you met the person. And if we talk about blind dates – boy, they were blind all right! There was no option to look up his/her picture on WhatsUp and get an idea.