Telecommunications used to be straightforward and simple when I was growing up. There was a telephone at home - we went from being restricted by the walking distance of the telephone cord to attaining nirvana when cordless home phones came on the market. Then there was the pager (due to a work requirement) - yes, I had one of those too and public telephones were the only means of making and returning phone calls when out and about. If someone desperately needed to reach you, they would dial your pager number and add "999" to the end of their return phone number so that you knew FOR SURE you had to return that call. In the event that you couldn't access a phone, well...so be it. There was nothing more to be done at that point.
The holy grail came in the form of mobile phones. We can be reached any place (so long as there is decent mobile phone coverage) and anytime *shudder*.
I am one of those who tends to turn my mobile phone on silent and have the ring tone set really low when I am with the kids. In fact, I wasn't even certain what my ring tone sounds like until recently... the traditional "ring ring" type (no melodies / children screaming for me to pick up the phone):
Ring Ring! Ring RING!
The children literally stopped what they were doing. Looked up at me with their eyes wide with alarm,
"Mummy, what's THAT NOISE?!"
At that moment, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"It's my mobile phone's ring tone.
This is what telephones used to sound like, babies."
Here's one of many generation gaps between the kids and I. Better start recording them down lest I forget!