TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Pay Phone Coin Drop Reference in TV Show; Youth Phone Culture

Pay Phone Coin Drop Reference in TV Show; Youth Phone Culture
9 Nov 2005 06:47:38 -0800

A TV show just broadcast used the "ding ding" sound effect when coins
were desposited in a modern pay phone. The show was "Life with
Derek"* shown on the Disney Channel.

What is interesting is that this show is meant for younger people who
very likely never saw a or used a 3-slot pay phone, so they're not
familiar with the coin drop sounds. Further, a lot of teens today
probably never even used a pay phone because they have cell phones (in
this episode's plot, the user didn't have a cell phone and was working
to get one, thus her need to make a pay phone call.) Our local public
library got rid of its pay phone because it was not used enough, when
kids need a ride home they have a cell to call. (There are
occassional requests for a phone, however).

I wonder what the market penetration of cell phones among teenagers is
today. It seems every time I see a teen they're staring at their cell
phone panel. (My cube neighbor yells at his kids for too much cell
phone/text msg use and big bills).

Also in this episode the "ker-ching" sound effect of a cash register
was used. This is a very common sound effect on TV when money is
mentioned. But almost every cash register in stores for years is
electronic. Indeed, the "ker ching" type of cash register was manual
and not as widely used as electric registers. Many smaller stores or
secondary counters in big stores did use a manual register (where the
lever action of depressing keys worked the mechanism). The pre-record
".wav" sounds included with my PC included that sound.

Indeed, sometimes I wonder if some of the jokes on youth shows might go
over kids' heads unfamiliar with culture history. For instance, in
another show, during career day a 13 y/o tells of how "mama won't work
for the man", which I thought was an expression of an older generation.

As an aside, about 25 years ago it was common for affluent families to
install a second phone line for the kids to use (pre computer days,
voice only). (In those days I remember senior citizens looking down at
that as being decadent and reminding us that in their day they all
shared the phone in the drugstore, if they had a phone at home it was
shared with many siblings and a party line.) Anyway I wonder if
families still bother with second lines just to meet voice needs or the
cell phones now meet that need. Also, with DSL and cable modems, I
wonder if people still have second lines for their computer.

*"Life with Derek" is about a teen girl who mother remarries and she
now has to live with a very annoying step-brother. Import from Canada.

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