I have listened with bemusement while they've proudly described the tricks their new pocket friends can perform - blogging, facebook, spotify, GPS,.....The list seems endless and I am beginning to tire with the unbridled joy of it all.
Recently I heard Paul McCartney in a radio interview. During the conversation he started reminiscing about the days before mobile phones; the time when people 'just had a telephone under the stairs, not even an answerphone - people stayed in to wait for a call because when you were out you were out'.
When I was a teenager, the phone stood on a special table in the hall. Do furniture companies still make those teak-style telephone tables - with a padded black vinyl seat and space for the phone on top and a shelf underneath for the Telephone Directory and the Yellow Pages. Do people still use telephone directories?
On one level it was great that the phone was in the hall. It provided a small element of privacy and meant you didn't have to talk over the TV. The cord was just about long enough to stretch it round the banisters, so I could sit on the stairs to chat - the padded vinyl seat wasn't great for long conversations. The downside however was the draught that came in under the front door and through the letter box. No central heating in those days, so not pleasant in the winter if you sat there too long. I guess it was one way of keeping the phone bills down.
No such worries for my daughter who can talk and text for hours from the warm comfort of her bed. But she'll never really know the excitement of the phone ringing, nobody knowing who was on the other end, and everyone jumping up, elbowing each other out of the way with hopeful cries of 'It'll be for me - I'll get it'.