Modern Technology Has Ruined the Prank Call

This One is Dedicated to the Youngsters

In a time not so long ago and a place not far away, there was once a fun activity we all enjoyed: the prank call. What could be more fun than calling your friend who was home alone babysitting and then simply breathing into the phone? Never forget the fun times calling random strangers and asking if their refrigerator was running. What about the calls to random offices and asking for I.P. Freely? Oh man, those were some great times. But now, modern technology has ruined the prank call.

Yes, we've come a long way. Modern technology has helped our lives in so many ways. We have cell phones so we can call 911 for an emergency. We have Caller ID so we can avoid answering telemarketer calls. These are all wonderful contributions to our world. However, for everything gained there is something lost. I am sad to say, we are losing the ability to make a great prank call.

You know who I weep for the most in this situation? The children. There are many innocent children out there that have never made a prank call - nor will they ever! Even if they try, they can never succeed like the generations before them. No, the prank call has been ruined.

Caller ID

Caller ID is potentially one of the greatest inventions of our time. We no longer have to pick up the phone everytime it rings. We can easily avoid certain people like telemarketers, collections agencies, family members, etc. The annoying people in our lives no longer have the ability to call and talk whenever they want. Caller ID can block them from ruining a perfectly good day. Instead, now they can just find you online and annoy you there.

There is a terrible downside to Caller ID. A prank call is basically impossible. Even if you do block your number from appearing on the Caller ID screen, most people will not pick up the phone if they see an unknown number. Leaving a funny message on the voicemail just is not quite the same. You can no longer pretend to be a crazed stalker and scare the hell out of people. The fun of calling and asking, "Is there a John in the house?" is over. Does anyone even call the toilet a John anymore anyway? Geez, times are changing!

Cordless Phones and Cell Phones

While we are on the subject of ruining prank call fun, let's talk about cordless phones and cell phones. Are they useful? Yes. Are they ruining our ability to make some fun prank calls? Yes.

For example, a great practical joke is when you are living in the same house or a dorm with someone, but you have your own separate phone line. As soon as a person starts to leave the room, dial their phone. The person runs back into the room. This is when you hang up. Once they start to leave again, call them again. It's loads of fun until you start laughing and the victim walks around the corner and slaps you.

With modern technology, everyone has a cell phone. You hang up once and they just put the phone in their pocket, ready for the next time it rings. You can't really try the prank again. It is a totally useless phone prank now.

Times Have Changed

Yes, we are constantly evolving in these modern times. Some of the best classic pranks are totally worthless now. We must begin to push further and face the truth: new forms of the prank call must be created. We have to put our heads together. It is time for something new and innovative. Please share your ideas with me. We have to do it. If not for us, let's do it for future generations of prank callers.

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Comments 20 comments

javaoverride profile image

javaoverride 5 years ago from England

You can’t beat super gluing a pound coin to the floor outside the shops and watching everyone trying to pick it up with their hand full of shopping.


alzel127 profile image

alzel127 5 years ago from Indiana

Technology sometimes suck. I miss the good old days.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Ahh, thanks for allowing me a moment to relive my youth! Unfortunately technology has given kids today to pull pranks that would never have crossed our minds as kids!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks everyone for the comments!

javaoverride - Yes, that is a pretty good trick. Recently, I pranked people at work with a very realistic fake $50 dollar bill on the floor. Good times.

alzel127 - Technology has ruined a lot of fun times. I hate cell phones!

cardelean - This is true. Kids really have to step up the pranks now. I guess pranks involve creating fake email addresses and Facebook pages to contact people now.


nycgrl profile image

nycgrl 5 years ago from New York

Ha this is so true! When I was in middle school (early to mid 90s) we used to do prank calls all the time. They got really elaborate too, it was fantastic. And yea sometimes I actually do feel sorry for this generation of kids because they don't have real childhoods anymore, most of them have Facebook pages and cell phones by the time their 6! Its ridiculous, childhood just isn't as good as it was during our time of carefree innocence. Great hub, voted up!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

It is true that children do not have the fun childhoods they once had. Everything is online now and the pranks just are not the same. I will say the kids have one thing on us - they can just turn on the computer and search for anything. I remember I had to wait and go to the library and research the things I wanted to know. Ah, life is easier now for them in that sense. Thanks for the comment.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Oh how I remember the days, on a rainy day, there was nothing better than making prank phone calls....another thing technology has ruined...is the movies where they are trying to trace a call.....they used to be in almost half the action movies I watched....now they are rarely in the movies. Voted up.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, those used to be the days. The good old days of, "Is your refrigerator running?" are now long forgotten. I miss them. It used to fun prank calling friends and family, too. Thanks for the vote up!


Chanel 5 years ago

Not signed in (Chanel11985), but can't you just dial *67 so you show up as "private" to the caller?

RIP prank call :(


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

This is true. However, most people do not pick up the phone anymore if the number is blocked. I sure don't. Yes, RIP to the prank call.


flaming_geyser profile image

flaming_geyser 5 years ago

This is truly a sad time we live in.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, it is very tragic. Something so important like the prank call should be celebrated.


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

And of course those prank calls had to be dialed on a rotary dial phone -- Just a few weeks ago I had the fun of watching a 14year old try to use one. Her cell was dead and she spied an old fashioned wall phone on the wall of the small town municipal bldg. " I wonder" she mused " if that antique phone works?" Antique she called it-- that kind of gave me a start, but from her POV I'm an antique too I guess.... well, this antique had to show her how to use it and yes it did work and it was fun watching her use the dial, awkwardly at first, but then she got it..... sort of like me the first time I tried the virtual keyboard on an iPhone.... the wonder of it all. One is not better than the other and kids today are making their own memories. Some day they will be sitting around talking nostalgically about X-boxes. I'll be long gone by then-- just as well I think:-)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I think I would like to see a 14 year old attempt to use a rotary phone. That would be pretty entertaining. I could never stand that type of phone! I can't imagine a 14 year old being able to use one. At least it sounds like she picked it up pretty fast. Thanks for the comment!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Rotary dial phones weren't so bad as long as the number of whoever you were calling had mostly 1, 2, 3, and 4s. Fives and beyond made for a long, slow dialing. If there was a zero in the number, better bring a lunch!

My friends and I made a lot of "Is your refrigerator running?" prank calls. There was one old guy, though, who turned the table on us. He said: "Not sure...let me go check", then put the phone down and made us wait "forever" for him to come back from the kitchen before we could yell "Better go catch it then!". ;D


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Hahaha... it used to be great when you'd get a funny reaction from the person you called. My mother told me the first time someone pranked her with the, "Is there a John in the house?" line, she thought it was hilarious when she said no and the guy said, "Then where do you use the bathroom?" She actually thanked him for prank calling her since she was going to use it.

Thank you for reading and for the comment!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

How funny! Sounds like something Gracie Allen - of Burns & Allen to all you youngsters - would've done! ;D

One of my favorite dream scenarios is to be stuck with a tennager in some backwater town where the only phone is rotary dial. Oh, the fun I'll have watching him/her figure out how to use it! ;D


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Yes, it would be funny to watch a teenager struggle with a rotary phone. Of course, that is only if it is not an emergency and your only hope for being rescued is that teenager's ability to use the rotary phone. :-)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

True, but if it's NOT an emergency and that teenager is NOT my only hope of being rescued, watching him/her struggle with a rotary phone would be such a lovely (and fitting) payback for the dozens of times I was called "stupid" for not knowing how to use any of the apps on a cell phone except "Send" and "End". :-}


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

This is so true. Cell phone apps confuse me as well. I have a basic cell phone that does not even take pictures and it is still too advanced for me.

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