#0042: Caller I.D.

It may be hard for kids and teens today to imagine, but there was once a time when there was no such thing as a phone with caller I.D.

Back in the telephone “dark ages,” people were not made aware of who was calling them until they heard their phone ring, picked it up, said “hello” inquisitively and waited for the voice on the other end to identify themselves.

This, of course, caused a few problems.  For one, if you were trying to avoid a bill collector, you had to choose between either answering the phone and acting like it wasn’t you (“Oh, this isn’t the Smith residence, it’s the, uh, the, uh… FIRTH residence, yeah!) or taking the bold step of not answering your phone at all (despite missing calls you actually WOULD want to pick up).  Another problem was that one could never really know if the call was for them.  In a family of 8, having everyone dive for the phone at once could cause quite the commotion, not to mention a few bumps, buises and headaches.

But then, some time around the mid-90s, Bell Atlantic introduced a novel concept: the idea that people might actually WANT to know who’s calling them BEFORE picking up the phone.  And thus, caller I.D. was introduced to the market.  It started off as a service you had to pay for; today, it’s a standard featured included in just about all phone services.

And what a GREAT feature it is!  Because of it, people can see who’s calling them and decide if they want to pick up the phone or not; and, when someone calls, everyone instantly knows who it is and who it’s probably for. 

Some other benefits of caller I.D.:

  • If someone is phone stalking you, you can save their number in your phone.  Now when they call, you don’t have to pick it up!
  • Think your significant other is cheating on you?  Thanks to caller I.D., all you have to do is look in their phone for a name you don’t recognize, and BAM! They’ve been caught!
  • It’s also good for identifying numbers you DON’T know.  If all the numbers in your phone have a name attached to them, chances are that number calling you that does NOT have one isn’t a call you want to pick up!

Ah, caller I.D…. now THAT’S something to be thankful for!

Have your own idea for something to be thankful for? Email 1001ThingsToBeThankfulFor@Gmail.com!

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