ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Smart phones follow a proud tradition of annoying phone technology

Updated on January 18, 2012

People over twenty-five will remember what life was like before phones were jammed into everyone’s pockets and purses. We went to the movies without a Katy Perry ringtone interrupting it. We could let the phone ring when work called, and pretend we weren’t near the phone. Sometimes we missed fun times because others couldn’t get a hold of us. But more often we had fun because others couldn’t get a hold of us. Then everything changed.

In the beginning the phone was a tool to save time. Instead of stopping by someone’s house you could call them…and that’s it. Then in the eighties answering machines hit the scene. It was suddenly a status symbol to have a machine. Women with big hair and shoulder pads were buying answering machines as a way of screening their calls, especially from obnoxious men in Member’s Only jackets. These men, missing the point entirely, were buying them to record funny (obnoxious) messages. One of the most coveted things you could have was a celebrity voice saying that you weren’t home on your machine.

The first annoying advance in our friend the phone.
The first annoying advance in our friend the phone.

Answering machines got annoying quick, however. They were a pain to set up. Then they would answer when you picked up the phone, often leaving an incriminating recording of your conversation. You had to buy little tapes for them, and there were was a different tape for every machine. If you used a tape too long you would sometimes have a phantom message playing over your current message. This got real disturbing if mom was leaving a message as you were listening to your girlfriend.

Eventually these problems went away when voice mail came around. But then you had to remember to check it. Usually you would wind up deleting a month’s worth of messages at a time. And usually that lead to you deleting a current important message. This was mostly abandoned (except at businesses) when caller ID came out. Now you could ignore what people had to say before they could say it! Of course, you had to make sure not to screen someone’s call when someone you screened a lot was hanging out.

Around the time answering machines were in their hay day pagers started appearing. If you had a pager in the eighties, you either worked the stock market, were a doctor, or you dealt drugs. There was no in between. Then in some point in the nineties, pagers started finding their ways into high school and college kids’ hands. Now it was a tool so they were always connected to their friends…as long as there was a phone nearby. Or they had thirty-five cents to make a call. Or they wanted to call the number.

Hey, come over man.  Up in Smoke is on.
Hey, come over man. Up in Smoke is on.

Of course they didn’t always want to call the number. Usually a friend would be calling from a strange house. Or it would be a burnout who they regretted giving the number to because they called it all the time. These people would eventually put “911” into their numerical message. This usually was reserved for emergencies where the annoyer would say, “Hey, Half Baked is on TV, come over.” That lead to the realization that you paid thirty-five cents to find out that a movie you had on tape was half over on TV at that moment.

Not surprisingly pagers started to die when cell phone became more affordable. The coup de grace occurred when instant messaging on AOL became texting on phones. Now the annoyers could send you a message you couldn’t ignore, even if you didn’t respond.

Today phones technology is just as obnoxious, but packed into a pint sized package. Phones now have auto correct, which sometimes makes you say dirty things to ugly people. They have screens that access the internet, but icons that can’t be touched with your sausage fingers. You butt dial people at the worst times (especially at the bar).

Then again, you can watch the big game on it while you’re sister’s getting married. If you have an i-phone 4S and your lonely you can talk to it…and it talks back. So it’s totally worth it, right?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Great hub! I actually did laugh out loud several times. Yes, technology progression is a funny thing, especially this explosion of phone-related technology. They're doing the same with TVs and VCRs (what's that? oh yeah, I vaguely remember those). Cheers!

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      6 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Don't forget the old school "Zack Morris phone". Great hub and this is very true. I can still remember my first cell phone which was just in case of emergencies. I always left it in the car. I also remember the time I got my first pager. I thought I was Joe Cool then. Great work. Voted interesting and up. Welcome to hubpages my friend. You will enjoy writing for this great community.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Thanks for this hub. And, welcome to HubPages. I nearly laughed out loud when you said, "Women with big hair and shoulder pads were buying answering machines as a way of screening their calls, especially from obnoxious men in Member’s Only jackets." Thanks very much for your writing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)