back to top

23 Things That Were Way Harder Before Cell Phones

IDK my bff Nokia.

You were probably born with a cell phone in your hand but there was once a time when phones existed mostly inside people's homes, and let me tell you, shit was rough.

1. If you missed a call, you could literally never know that you missed a call.

2. Unless someone at your house nicely wrote the message down for you.

3. Or you had this machine in your house, which recorded people's messages to a physical tape.

Pssst, it's called an answering machine, heroes.

Pssst, it's called an answering machine, heroes.

4. And if you called someone and missed them, you had to listen to whatever corny greeting their parents recorded before you could leave a message for your friend Jenny about the homework she missed.

View this video on YouTube / Via

5. Speaking of, you could actually call your answering machine and punch in a code to see if anyone had called you, which is weird.

6. Most phones were tethered to the wall, so you had to stretch it really far to get out of the kitchen so your mom couldn't eavesdrop on your very important phone calls.

DreamWorks Television

7. And your asshole siblings were probably on the other phone giggling as they listened to you talk to your crush.

8. Which is why finally getting your own private phone line was the ultimate power move.

9. If you were lucky enough to have a cordless phone, you could only take it like 40 feet from the base before it went out of range, or the motherfucker would die at the exact worst time (right when Laura was gonna tell you if Alyssa said she liked you.)

Master1305 / Getty Images

10. Some people (your parents/drug dealers) even had beepers.

11. You actually memorized your friend's phone numbers.

12. But you could pull off the infamous three-way call attack (if necessary.)

Paramount Pictures

13. You had to dial the mystical *69 number to see which asshole friend had prank called you.

14. But you could prank call people without them knowing who you were, which was great.

Comedy Central

15. Still, the day you got Caller ID was fucking life changing.

16. At school things were tough, because you didn't have phones, to text and stuff.


17. Text messages were literally notes on paper, and if you fucked up and dropped it, everyone would know that you got a schoolbus handsky from Becky that morning.

18. But your school gave out handy phone directories so you could always find your crush's number.

19. But if you wanted to find, like, a random person or a business, you had to look int his crazy giant thing called the phone book.

20. There was this great thing called a collect call so you could call your mom to pick you up from the movies and she would literally have to pay money to answer the phone.

21. If you were visiting a new city, you had to, like, use a map, made out of paper.

22. And if you made plans to meet someone somewhere, you actually had to show up.

23. If you wanted to send n00dz you had to use the mail.

Which, in retrospect, was probably better for everyone.

Columbia Pictures
Connect with As/Is