Unpopular Opinion: Payphones still relevant in the digital age

“Who you gonna call?”

Audrey White, Opinions Section Editor

With the days of public payphones far behind us, it may seem obsolete to reintroduce them. Although most of the world’s population has smartphones with functions that go beyond ordinary communication devices, there are still convincing reasons why payphones should remain available in the digital age.


Today, many people around the world agree that smartphones have caused people to forget how to speak with one another. By lessening the dependency on carrying smartphones and allowing people to have the option to use a payphone for use of communication, perhaps the world may see changes in how people speak to one another face-to-face. 


Generally, people agree that as a society, people have become too reliant on having a phone at their fingertips for anything they might need. However, instead of continuing on the path of digitalization, wouldn’t it be helpful if people were given the option to access a phone in public in case they desire distance between the technology in their everyday lives? 


Likewise, the world can be unpredictable. Even though payphones are a technology of the past, they can allow for someone in need to reach aid in case of emergencies; and can provide telephone usae for those that simply don’t have a phone because of financial reasons. Life happens, and sometimes people may forget their cell phone at home, or their phone may not be fully charged. If an emergency were to occur, it can be reassuring to the public to know that people will have unlimited access to a communication device, even if the payphones are not as widely used as personal cell phones and other smart technologies.


Though working payphone locations are dwindling, there are still many public payphones across the United States. However, if payphones were widespread and readily available in public locations such as gas stations, stores, and libraries, then people would still have the option. Unlike payphones, smartphones are essentially a pocket-sized supercomputer, which sometimes clouds the original intention for a smart phone- communication. 


Another insight to having publicly available telephones, is job and economic opportunities. Payphone companies require electricians, construction, manufacturing, marketing, an operator, as well as many other jobs. These jobs could help to improve the country’s economies by employing more people for their corporation.


Overall, people are more interconnected through their communication than ever before; however, remembering former technologies can help our society in times of need and provide us with extra options in which we can continue to communicate with one another.