Open Thread

Flashback OT: Winter 1997

I got a new smart phone today. I’m excited because it has a better camera and it has video capabilities. These are not features I even considered when I got my first mobile phone in the winter of 1997.

In the winter of 1997, my car broke down on a rural stretch of interstate highway in central Illinois. I was by myself, on my way to meet a friend. I was able to pull over to the side of the road, but I that was all I could do. The next exit was miles away, and I was at the mercy of my fellow road travelers that day. Fortunately, I met helpful people that day.

The next day I went to Radio Shack and bought my first cellular phone. It was a Nokia of some sort, I think, and the service plan included 60 minutes a month or so for $14.95.

When did you get your first mobile phone? Was it originally for emergencies only?

4 replies on “Flashback OT: Winter 1997”

I got my first cell in 2005 because I was moving and the one (landline) phone company in the province was on strike so no one would be able to come out and set up a phone in my new apartment for a couple weeks after I was to move in. So, instead, I got a cell and had a phone before I even moved out of my old place! I went with Fido just because they were across the street from my work.

I got one when I was fifteen that was originally my mother’s but she never used it. I rapidly adopted it when I started going out with boys and never looked back. I still mourn the one I dropped into a cup of tea, though I am proud of the  one two I have rescued from a toilet bath.

My parents had a bag phone.  It was huge and cumbersome and plugged into the cigarette lighter (wait.  Are those still called cigarette lighters?).  I think maybe we used it 3 or 4 times total.  They got it circa 1995.

I didn’t get a cell phone until 2004, when I was in the Peace Corps.  I’d still kind of like to get rid of mine now.

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