Nineties Flashback: Why Pagers are cool

Zara Rabinowicz Tech


Zara Rabinowicz Writes…

Go with the flow they say, and that has brought us into this glitzy technology filled media age, where if it isn’t walking talking Homer Sapiens it’s proposing via a LCD ring box or cavorting on the latest night vision webcam. What happened to old fashioned conversations, gadgets that were useful as well as ornamental and using a phone just to talk? No, I hark back to the era were the Spice Girls were actually Girls and no one yet knew Rupert Everett was gay (or maybe just me).


And this brings me to pagers, a symbol of the tech uselessness of the decade. A small gadget you can send messages to (via a really mean operator) that you can’t reply to unless you’re near a phone. Seriously fairly dull. I mean the premise was that parents (who inevitably bought you one) was that they could contact you in emergency. How? Unless they hoped a justified use of exclamations marks conveyed urgency, they couldn’t just will a microphone onto that little box. But they were cute, and highly covetable. Tell the truth, you thought they were hot, right?

I thought mine was a little blue box of heaven and felt ever so grown up walking around with my ‘first’ real piece of gadgetry (this is before mobile’s were common: I know, its sounds crazy) I subscribed to all the applications, and had daily horoscopes and news beeped straight to me, of which I could impress my friends with knowledge of the latest traffic jams or that Girls Aloud were born. I loved how it vibrated (Oy, vibrations were a novelty then) and even had fun calling up my friends pagers and seeing what was the rudest message the operator would condone. Breasts were fine apparently but anything ending in ‘ck’ wasn’t. Oh the joy, of trying to flirt this way. It was like having a virtual chaperone.

Then the inevitable happened, and it got stolen my boyfriends crack addicted ex and that was that. Still, to console me I was bought the ‘latest’ Motorola handset ( think brick style black and white candybar phone), and I never looked back. But now and then I reminisce about the days when you couldn’t be contacted every waking second, and how I was so excited by that little plastic box, when nowadays I find myself unenthused by previews of products that won’t hit shelves till 2008. It’s a funny old world.

Zara Rabinowicz writes for Shiny Shiny, Star Trip, The Baglady and Dollymix and is proud of her new mobile, even if it does say Ashley Norris on the back.

By Zara Rabinowicz | October 15th, 2007

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