Today, the 2G network in Singapore has officially been shut down, and with it also comes the official status change of the 2G phones from outdated to obsolete.
While the large majority of us have successfully ported over to 3 and 4G networks long ago, and the shutdown doesn’t affect our day-to-day lives, the news is still bittersweet, given the special place of 2G phones in our hearts.
Given that it’s now technically impossible to relive the times when the only way we could communicate was via SMS and phone calls, and when our keypads had actual buttons, we’ve compiled a list of what we miss about the simpler times of 2G and the corresponding phones.
1. Typing On The T9 Keyboard Like A Boss
Save for Blackberry (although they also have options without them), smartphone producers have fully moved away from physical keyboards, and many of us have forgotten the feeling of pushing down the buttons to craft a message, or dial a number.
There was also a certain pride that came with being able to memorise which of the keys corresponded to which letter, and the ability to message a contact without the need to ever look at the screen to check.
2. People Would Never Know If You Were Ignoring Them
Ah, the blue tick syndrome.
While there was no way to find out if your crush had read your confessional text back then, the blue check marks next to your Whatsapp message are a clear indication of whether or not the recipient wants to acknowledge what you’ve said or not.
This means bad news for the more insecure among us, as every un-replied blue ticked message can be seen as a passive-aggressive attack.
Without any means to check our message’s status then, everyone was more trusting (“He/she must be busy”), and psychological warfare was near impossible to execute as well.
3. Phone Notification Sounds Were More Predictable
With 2G phones, there were only 2 notifications that your phone would sound off for – phone calls, or SMS/MMS-es.
These days, with the multiple social media accounts and messaging apps that we’re on, our phones are sounding off (or vibrating, if you’re on silent mode) more than usual.
This is detrimental in 2 ways. First, it’s getting even more impossible to ‘disconnect’, and take a breather from our lives online. Secondly, the rate of being disappointed when the phone sounds off for unimportant notifications is higher.
In fact, the emergence of smart watches, which promise to push every notification from our phones to us anytime, anywhere, has made this even worse.
4. Having Actual Conversations Offline Instead Of Communal Phone-Using
On the note of being unable to disconnect from our online lives, this has also led to an increasing inability to hold meaningful conversations with those around us.
This is usually seen at lunches in big groups, where 80% of attendees are usually scrolling through various apps on the phone, and any attempts to engage in offline conversation, or coming up with a topic to discuss, only results in long, awkward pauses.
5. Living In The Moment
These days, going to a concert also means resisting the urge to throw the phones of those in front of you on the floor.
While there’s nothing wrong with snapping a few photos, or taking a few snippets of the concert you’re at, it’s more often than not that many spend the entire time with one hand clutching onto their phone, recording the whole concert like they’re a videographer.
Perhaps back then, it was due to the lack of ability to record anything (or at the most, the results were so grainy that it was depressing) that “forced” us to enjoy the full concert experience, but it definitely made for better memories than a few clips in our smartphones.
6. Longer, More Heartfelt Texts
Back when texting meant maximising the character count, we were more likely to craft longer, more expressive texts to our select group of texting friends.
It also needed us to be more creative in fitting our message within the limits, and this led to the creation of abbreviations that we use, even to this day!
With messaging apps allowing us to send an unlimited number of messages to an unlimited number of people (think about it – you’re more likely to text an acquaintance now), the likelihood of sending filler, less sincere messages like “Hello”, “Ya”, “K”, are higher.
7. Ringtones That You Could Create Yourself
While ringtones of the latest hits could be purchased (remember those newspaper listings?), those of us who didn’t have the money to spend, and who wanted to create something which was truly ours would remember painstakingly composing them in our free time.
And with every sweet note, we became maestros in our own right.
If you think about it, we used to put so much more effort into finding ways to tweak our phones so that they were as unique as we were.
8. Solid Battery Life
Remember when our phone batteries could last days on end?
Now, finding a smartphone that doesn’t require charging after a full day of use is near impossible, and we’re usually left scrambling to find a kind friend with a portable charger, or a power point to plug into.
But it’s also an inevitable part of having all the cool new features we’re enjoying on our smartphones.
9. Even More Solid Phones
While it’s quite an exaggeration that smartphones of today shatter every time we drop them, they can never beat the resilience of our old phones. The most clumsy of us could rest safe in the knowledge that our phones will still go strong even after dropping them countless times.
Again, the fragility of today’s phones are due to the materials used, most of which are used to make them more capable, or simply more aesthetically-pleasing.
Win some, lose some I guess.
10. Space Impact And Snake
It’s The End Of An Era
We bid farewell to the 2G network, the phones, and the memories that have come from it.
Do you have any more examples to add on? Let us know!
Featured Image Credit: Metro