I still remember the first time I got a mobile phone like it was yesterday. It was my 13th birthday, and I welcomed my teenage years by playing snake for like three hours and texting my friends things like “r U Gonna Go milkbar after skool 2moz?” – an endeavour that would set you back 25 cents a pop, mind you.
But it was glory days, my friends. The struggles, in their own way, were beautiful. Gen Z will never truly understand the joys of a truly godlike Snake streak, or calling your parents but only letting it ring once and then hanging up so they’d call you back – meaning you didn’t actually pay for the call. Chess not checkers, baby.
Here’s some more nostalgia bombs from some other old people (read: anyone born before 1997).
“Paying $5 for the Sex and the City ringtone only to find out your best friend got the same one too so it’s really confusing when your phone/s ring. And dad getting a $200 phone bill because of said effort to get new ringtones.
Also, having the phone but never actually having credit so needing to ask total strangers on the bus if you could quickly call your mum to tell her you’re not dead.
Plus, actually having to ask someone on a date in person using your voice.”
“Pre-mp3 ringtones – finding the button chords to install your own polyphonic ringtones, waiting until 11pm to call someone from your Optus sim to their Optus sim so u could talk for free, and writinLikDis2avoidGoingOvaCharLimit.
There’s more: holding the phone high in the air to get better reception, personalised voicemail pre-pay things, the little dangly keychain things usually with hello kitty beads, oh and locking your phone via keys.”
“Swapping batteries if your phone was dead and mum making me wear my phone on a lanyard.”
“Learning how to play Snake 2 (no walls wtf?!) and also trying to find the coolest phone covers and number pads.”
“Looking up programmable ringtones on the internet and spending two hours painstakingly entering the keys so your phone would play Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” when your mum called to say she was out the front to pick you up.
I had to do the belt on my school shorts up extra tight to stop my brick phone from literally pulling them down. This is not a joke.”
“Choosing to go with a certain network because all your friends are with them and you get free texts if you’re in the same network.”
“Gen Z will never understand begging someone to send you credit, or that when you called your mates home phone, you’d have to make small talk with their parents before getting to chat to your friend.
Also, the feeling of paying for the music that played when someone called you – not your ring tone – but what the person heard when they called you, lol.”
“Can’t I believe I used to pay 25c per text to message my crush in high school.
My old brick had a battery life of under six hours and only took one button press to turn on in my bag and run itself out, so I used to keep it wrapped in socks inside my school bag.”
“1800 reverse, and camera quality of a calculator.”
“In my youth we were struggling making smoke signals on rainy days.”
Hey, it’s me again – the guy writing this article. Pretty insane to think how far we’ve come when it comes to mobile phone technology, innit? Pictured above is an old Samsung I once used in The Good Old Days vs. the current A Series. Time is wild and scary and it just keeps on ticking, but if the price of slowly withering into old age is the entirety of human knowledge wrapped up in a sleek 2001: A Space Odyssey monolith-esque magic rectangle in our pockets then sign me the hell upppp.
Thankfully, the days of the brick phone are long behind us. For the latest in mobile perfomance, check out the vast range of devices in the Samsung Ecosystem for all your creative needs — so you can be you, your way.Image: The Simpsons