You Used to Call Me on My Landline: Remembering Hotline Bling of the ’90s

Technology

You Used to Call Me on My Landline: Remembering Hotline Bling of the ’90s

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

W

hen Graham Bell invented the telephone, I am sure he did not think that one day, his creation would be used by thirsty millennials to find a mate on Tinder. Perhaps even Charles Darwin would’ve been unable to predict this unlikely evolution. Of course, back then, the telephone wasn’t “smart”, but that doesn’t mean it was dumb. It was symbolic. The telephone, or the landline, as us ’90s kids call it, represented that generation just as much as today’s selfie-clicking, Netflixing, Insta-storying smartphone represents the current one.

The smartphone is the ultimate technological emblem of instant gratification, a high to which today’s generation is addicted. Everything is now, in the moment. Mah lyf, mah rulez. The fact that your quest for instant gratification is recorded for posterity on the cloud is no cause for alarm, even though if we were still using landlines, there would be no data theft and Donald Trump would not be playing “Mine’s Bigger” on Twitter with Kim Jong-un.

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