Flashback Friday: Pagers

by Sean P. Aune | July 6, 2012

Flashback FridayBefore the mobile phone took over our lives, it seemed that everyone and their brother had a pager … including Leonard Nimoy it would seem.

I received an email the other day with something listed in the signature that I had not seen in eons: The person’s pager number.  While I knew they were still out there, it had been so long since anyone had mentioned them to me that I just figured they were offered, but no one actually used them.

Yes, it wasn’t all that long ago that folks walked around with the devices on their belts or in their purses and you would hear the beeping going off letting you know that more than likely you needed to find a pay phone in your future.  The model shown above by Mr. Nimoy – who would apparently be the spokesperson for anything under the sun – had the fun feature of not showing you any information about who was calling you.  In the early 1990s I already had a base phone in my car, but I also carried a numeric pager as it was the best way to reach me as I had to actually be in the car to hear the phone ring.  It was also cheaper than the phone which I always tried to use sparingly.

For a period when I was traveling around the country a lot, I even had a SkyPager from SkyTel that I could use anywhere in the nation.  Much to my surprise while I was thinking about this post, I discovered that those actually still exist, and that it even has an international feature now.  Color me shocked.

While I can understand some potential uses for pagers in this day and age, one would think texting has just about killed it off.  If someone doesn’t need to talk to me right away, why not just send me a short text?

Either way, pagers are still out there … they just don’t have Leonard Nimoy selling them any more.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...