unnamedIf I had a Star Trek transporter at my disposal, I would beam to England every other day. Barring that, I read the blog Spitalfields Life to immerse myself in London, old and new.

This photo, part of a recent post there called The Inescapable Melancholy Of Phone Boxes, struck me because both the red telephone booth (or “box”) and post box speak of another age. Just as people rarely sit down to write letters any more, they no longer need to anchor themselves in one place to contact their friends and families by phone.

People walk and text, shop and talk, answer emails on the fly, and wander oblivious through the world, eyes firmly fixed on the small screen in one hand.

I grew up in a era where it was common to communicate by both letters and phone. None of us wrote to anyone who lived nearby. We called. But calling long distance was expensive. However, technology evolves; email is faster than letters, and cell phone plans count minutes instead of miles, at least within the same country.

Will mailboxes start disappearing next? I mailed a card just three days ago, but I can’t remember the last time I opened the door of a phone booth — perhaps when I last visited London.

2 thoughts on “Relics

  1. Phoebe Conn says:

    It amazes me how people will hold personal conversations on their cell phones in a grocery store line. I asked one man if he recalled telephone booths having doors for privacy. He responded with a blank look. We used to be far more discreet. I hope London keeps their iconic red telephone booths even if few people still use them.

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