Talk with the Doc: Cell phone history and humor

Dr. Jim Surrell, Journal columnist

The current 2020 statistics tell us that there are approximately 270 million cell phone users in the United States. As you know, nearly all of us use them in our daily lives. Just recall the last time you misplaced your cell phone and then did a very thorough search of your home, automobile, work site, or elsewhere until you found it. Of course, our cell phones provide us with the ability to contact our friends, family, fellow workers, or anyone, at any time. These smart cell phones now also give us a portable search engine to look for information and answers to our questions by providing us with this information in an instant.

Cell phones have come a long since their early developments. The original mobile phone acted as a Walkie Talkie and only allowed phone calls, and over the years they have developed phones to include much more than the ability to make a call. So many of us use smartphones in our daily lives to communicate with others and to gather information about so many subjects. As you may recall, the cell phones were previously getting smaller with each year, but now we see them slowly getting bigger.

Here is some cell phone history. In 1973, the Motorola Company produced the first “mobile” telephone. These first mobile phones only allowed phone calls and were not equipped to do anything else. The original Motorola mobile phone was called “DynaTac”. It supposedly took 10 hours to charge for a mere 30 minutes of talking time. The phone cost around $4,000, so very few people could afford them.

Later during the 80’s these “mobile” phones began to be commercially produced and over the next few years they slowly evolved and improved. It wasn’t until the 90’s that developers started to release a 2nd generation of mobile phones. Then, in 1992, the IBM Corporation released a mobile phone they called “Simon”. This IBM Simon phone is considered the first ever “smartphone”. The phone acted more as a planner with the added ability to make phone calls. You could create task lists and store contacts, but that was all that Simon could handle. This hand held device retailed at around $900 and IBM sold close to 50,000 units. Simon essentially paved the way for many smartphones to come.

The 90’s also began the era that phone size and portability became important. Nokia became one of the biggest cell phone manufacturers in the early 2000’s and they really worked on slimming down mobile phones to make them more user friendly. At this time cell phones began to become more accessible to everyone. In 2007, Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone that would cost between $500 and $600. This announcement marked the beginning of a series of developments that led us to the much bigger and slimmer touch screen phones. The cell phone industry is very dynamic and continues to rapidly evolve and change.

Let us now wrap this up and engage a bit of cell phone humor and, as always, no groaning at my silly clean third grade level jokes is allowed.

Why is your cell phone like a dog? It is because your cell phone has a “Caller I.D.”, and your dog has a “Collar I.D.”.

In my secret medical genetics lab I was able to cross a dog with a cell phone. To my surprise, what I got was a “Golden Receiver”.

Two cell phones fell in love and decided to get married. The wedding wasn’t much but their “reception” was really great.

I just got my most recent cell phone bill in the mail. I now totally disagree with the often quoted statement that, “Talk is cheap.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books.Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.


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