Nineties Flashback: Why Pagers are cool

Zara Rabinowicz Tech 6 Comments


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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  • JaneM

    Zara – believe it or not I am still required to carry a pager for my work!! We all have crackberrys and cell phones but, we are in IT support and rotate support times (and none of us want the idiots that have to page us to have our individual bb/cell #’s) so we use the good old skytel pager!! Welcome to the 21st century.

  • sam

    well,what’s this,you mean you can send message by
    view here,other cool but hot selling gadgets

  • PRS

    Nice entry.

    You might find this difficult to believe… But, it’s true.

    I STILL carry a pager, and I love it!!! I carry an alphanumeric (means you can send me text) pager and have my personal emails forward to it as well. It is SO nice to be able to see what is going on without being tied to a computer, and no matter how many messages I get, the cost is the same – under $6 per month! When I had my emails go to my phone, I got nailed for some huge cell bills for all the text. BTW, ‘unlimited text’ plans do not cover emails.

    I am admitting it- I love my pager! It works where the cellphone does not, it runs on a single AA battery for 4 months straight (try THAT with a cellphone!) and it is very inexpensive.

    In case you are in amazement, get a load of this… When I retire, I plan to get rid of my cellphone and keep the pager. THAT is how much I love mine.

  • zodiaclove

    I don’t agree with what you said really….
    please ellaberate a bit more for me ;d


  • zodiaclove

    I can’t agree with what you wrote really….
    please explain in detail a bit more for me ;D


  • Mike P

    I carry a pager and a cell phone. My choice. Very strange in 2009. The deal for me is that I refuse to jump every time my phone rings. I am a focus type person and when I am in that mode I want no distractions..dont want to take the time to see who is calling..dont want to tell someone I will call them back…I dont even want to have to check my messages so my cell phone takes no messages. I often will turn off my phone or just tune it out.

    However…there are a few people and businesses that I will drop anything for. Those people have my pager number and, thought they rarely call, when they do I always call them right back. Anything coming through my pager is by definition an emergency…anything coming through my phone is not an emergency. Works for me.