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Demise of the Humble Phone Box

I live in a rural area. It's a place my family have been visiting since the very early 80's. It is a small coastal town with some permanent residents like myself and some "weekenders" who visit to jet-ski, bike ride and generally relax. It is a place where very few things change.

One thing I have noticed is the phone box. Yes, we still have a phone box on the main road. During the 1980's Friday and Saturday nights were a hub of activity at the phone box as people waited their turn to use the phone. Privacy was non existent, even though back in those days it did have a swivel door.

There was always a line of cars parked on the street and a line of people sitting on the rickety fence. You waited, you listened to conversations, greeted your fellow townspeople and finally made your call before walking or driving home.

There is another town across the river, a very small town which apparently never qualified as large enough to have a phone box. People used to wait until the tide was low and wade across to use our phone box.

I think about these times now as my daily walk takes me past the phone box. I haven't seen anyone use it in years. It doesn't even take coins anymore, just phone cards. People have mobile phones now and even with the usual stretching acrobatics required to get signal in the area, people use them now instead of waiting to use the phone box. I guess waiting in line to use a public phone seems strange now; a thing of times gone by. But, it always makes me smile as I walk past and remember waiting in a long line with an impatient dog ready to continue her walk.

Finally, a topic for my Masters thesis

As the title suggests, I have finally decided on a topic for my Masters thesis; Information Propagation: from the Reformation to Web 2.0. I plan on examining the way information and news was/is passed around, starting from Reformation England in the 16th Century.

This is all starting to freak me out a little and at times I feel I am in over my head. At least it is a subject I am really interested in.

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March 2010


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