Posted by: mobilitycloud | May 17, 2016

Watching Pay Phones and Other Technologies Fade Away…

I recently ran across this video and article from New Yorker magazine called “Dead Ringer”, which is a short and funny film about the demise of the pay phone in NYC and how this impacts what you and I are led to believe is a pay phone speaking to us about its history and how we used to depend on these devices to communicate with others when we weren’t at our home or office. The film does have a bit of a nostalgic look and feel and drove home how we used to depend on  these devices to get our messages across and now (as the narrator muses, “those little gizmos…feeling around your pocket…you addicts”) we no longer have a need for except when Super Storm Sandy hit the NE just a few years back.

Well I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that my introduction to the work force was a TSPS Operator (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_Service_Position_System) working for Southern Bell and yes I was the live voice that would either help you place your calls or collect money from you as you made long distance calls from these coin operated devices we lovingly called pay phones way back in the day and I certainly took my fair share of abuse from many of you who lost your quarters and needed to call home to get a ride or simply say that you were running late or find out what you needed to pick up at the grocery store for dinner. Not much has changed in those conversations but now these devices have been replaced by cellphones who have now been overtaken by smartphones where we barely even use voice services and now communicate by text, e-mail, IM or a thousand other apps that allow us to collaborate in ways never dreamed of when the pay phone was king.

Now think about how fast technology is changing in just about every facet of our lives and how “disruptive” this is to many industries that we interface with, think Uber and Taxis, E-Readers and Books/Newspapers, Internet of Things/Everything/Mobile Broadband, Cloud Computing, Drones, 3D Printing/Manufacturing amongst just a few thousand other applications that are changing our lives as we speak. In spite of a dreary economy (depending on which Presidential Candidates that you listening to) Technology is growing in more ways than we could ever dream of and for a Tech Geek, this is all pretty good I would say.

I’m listing the article and video from the New Yorker below plus included a video from the Bell Company that shows the TSPS Operator Board that (cringing as I speak) I worked on when I first started at Ma Bell. Sit back and enjoy the movies, no need to drop in a quarter, this one’s on me!

Link to Video & Article: “Dead Ringer”: A New York City Pay Phone’s Spirited Farewell (Warning Authentic New York Language)

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/dead-ringer-a-new-york-city-pay-phones-cranky-farewell

Video from Bell System:

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