The other day I was driving around here in Los Angeles. It was another sunny, 73 degree summer day. As I was driving I started thinking to myself about the things I miss.

Technology is amazing. It really is. Technology can really simplify certain things.
That part of technology is great and amazing.

I mean, I can go away on vacation or a business trip and be able to access all my emails from my iPhone. Then when I return, I’m no longer inundated with phone messages and emails because I was able to address a lot of them while I was gone.

With the Internet, I can stay in touch with people I probably never would otherwise. I can post blogs on my BlackBerry or iPhone. There are so many things we can do so much more easily now with technology.

There are some of the simpler things in life which are gone with all the current technology, however, that I do miss. I was listening to an ‘American Top 40’ show on the 70s station of my satellite radio. Listening to some of those songs brought back a lot of memories.

Remember the days when you were dating and you called someone on a pay phone, and the operator would keep coming on the phone asking you to deposit another $0.35? So many times you wouldn’t have any more change but you didn’t want the phone call to end, so you’d start checking the phone and the ground for lost change. For those of you who don’t remember this, allow me a minute to reminisce.

The problem with the whole pay phone thing as someone who was living in New York City, was that pay phones were generally pretty disgusting. The smell of the mouthpiece alone was always repulsive. That part of “simpler” times I don’t miss at all!

What I do miss is coming home to an answering machine and seeing who called you when you were gone. With cell phones and everything right at your fingertips, you don’t get to experience that feeling you got when you came home to a blinking light on an answering machine (signaling that you had messages).

I remember meeting someone and coming home hoping to see that blinking light, and then arriving home to find either no blinking light or that the blinking light was a message from someone else. It was part of dating — that anticipation about the answering machine.

There was no *69. You couldn’t just pick up the phone, dial *69 and see who called you. There was no Caller ID so you couldn’t even see the phone number of that girl who called you but didn’t leave a message.

Dating was more about guessing. You’d wonder, “When is this person going to call? How long are they going to wait to call me?”

Back then if you were in a relationship and got into a fight, you’d be out with your friends and be calling on your answering machine and having to put in your “secret code” to check your messages (and see if your significant other had called). I remember how much fun it was to have a secret code.

Answering machines “voices” back then sounded so mechanical. That voice telling you how many messages you had didn’t resemble a human voice in any way.

I also used to change my answering machine message constantly. I’d change the song I’d put on there and my greeting depending on my mood. I always wanted to create a good listening experience for the women who called me.

One time I had the theme song from “The Brady Bunch” on my answering machine message and came home to about 37 hang-up “clicks” on my answering machine. When I answered the phone the next time the phone rang, i asked the woman on the phone if she was the one who had been calling and hanging up, and she said it was her and that she just wanted to hear that Brady Bunch song over and over again.

Those were some good times. They were simpler times.

Technology certainly is great. With technology you can cruise the Internet. You can go on a website like and meet someone amazing from somewhere across the country, and you can communicate in real time with anyone in the world. You can get a phone call when you’re driving and not have to wait until you’re home.

What you miss with all this technology and instant results is the suspense you used to have with things. It was like Christmas and waiting to see what Santa brought you. You’d come home and be excited to see if you got a message and, if so, from whom. Sometimes you were happy because it was that woman you called earlier, and other times you were a little disappointed because it was just your friend leaving you a message.

I wouldn’t want to go back in time and be without all the awesome technology of today, but I think it would be fun to be able to go back in time for a week or so and get to re-experience all that great anticipation I used to feel. What do you miss that is gone now because of technology? Share with me your favorite story.
Also, share with me your favorite answering machine story or the thing you miss most from when you were young and dating.