Payphone's Influence On American Culture

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Cultural artifacts have been found in societies throughout history as civilizations constantly emerge, adapt, peak, and inevitably decline. The remnants of these societies often times linger long after the population fades away and have been studied by newer generations to learn about how the people of the past once lived. In contemporary times technology has advanced at such a rapid rate that items which had been modern less than a century ago are now mainly obsolete. One such device that can now be considered a cultural artifact is the payphone. Beginning in the early 20th century when these phones first emerged, people across the United States found themselves relying on payphones to communicate with others while away from home. The implementation…show more content…
This technology essentially opened up the floodgates of communication, making the telephone a mobile device that could be accessed anywhere across the country. In the past, a person who was traveling or simply walking around in an unfamiliar area would have been hard up to find a phone which they could use to contact a friend or family member. The payphone changed everything by offering people this technology for a nominal cost. The American consumers embraced this technology and the impact of it can be seen in the continued fervor that has since pushed much of the population to demand further means of communication even more advanced than the payphone. On the flipside, American’s now found it much harder to “go off the grid” and maintaining constant contact became a norm rather than a luxury. The impact of such a change psychologically is still only in the early stages of being evaluated but payphones could very well be a precursor to the oversaturated forms of communication that have arrived in today’s society with social media and the internet. In these ways the payphone can be looked at as a major influence on the United States and western society as a whole as developed societies began to stretch out farther and farther apart while maintaining communication that somehow only brings them closer

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