Have you have you bought a landline phone lately? It just isn’t done. Phones come in sets — two phones, three phones, four phones, or even five phones. People thought they had to have a phone for every room. Now, they have a cell phone and seldom use a regular telephone at all.
I went to the local Staples to buy a phone, which gave me pause to wonder. Like big box stores, will telephones soon become obsolete? People are no longer shopping in big stores.
A telephone rests in a box on a low shelf where it has gradually been pushed to the back of the shelf and is barely visible at all. There were telephone sets on display but very few to actually purchase and take home. In fact, this phone could be the only one left in the world. It is a nice phone, but no one wants it.
If a customer finds a phone they like in the display, the store will order that model online and have it delivered to the customer. How ridiculous. Most likely people have checked prices and have a pretty good idea of what they want already. If anyone wants to order online, they can do it themselves.
The only reason people go to electronic stores now is to see the actual merchandise. They then pull out their smart phone to see where they can get one cheaper. No one seems to see or want the lonely phone that is on the shelf. In spite of its many features, it isn’t smart enough.
Maybe they don’t realize that phones now can be connected to a cell phone? With new technology, desk phones can connect to cordless headsets as well as to mobile phones. People can’t see the point and don’t want a land phone. After all, a cell phone is a TELEPHONE, as well as a computer and many other things.
People want to play Angry Birds and send text messages.
The makers of telephones know that home phones are becoming obsolete and are trying to make them more like cell phones. But the phone is still not actually mobile. It is cordless but will only work when it is close to the base that is transmitting the signal.
Even office phones are no longer just phones. They can do tricks. Phone calls come in on a computer and pop up on the screen with the caller ID displayed. If no one answers, it takes the message and emails it to the user. Even so, people often have both a business desk phone and a business cell phone.
But wait! A customer is looking at the display phone on the shelf. The phone has waited so long for a home. It has waited and waited for someone to get tired of an old phone that went dead, can’t be charged, cuts them off, and is not dependable. Of course, the person could buy new batteries, but it is easier to buy a new phone.
“I’m here! I’m here!” thinks the phone. But it cannot say what is in its circuits. It can only say the number of an incoming call and it has to be plugged in for that. The telephone fears it is destined to be obsolete.
Before long humans will be saying, “Remember when people had phones they could only use in the house?” They will laugh like they do now at the mention of its ancestors, phones with long curly tails, antenna, or dials instead of buttons. And even buttons are becoming obsolete. Humans speak the number or name and the smart phone knows who to call.
But someone discovered the phone and picked it up! They are carrying it to the register. It is going to have a home at last. This is an event to be remembered — something to go down in the history of technology.
Someone has purchased the last telephone.
Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss