Snake. Polyphonic ringtones. Infrared. To a certain crop of millennials, those words will mean very little – but to those of us who grew up in the ’00s with Nokia 3310s and Motorola flip phones, they were just small elements of mobile phone culture that seemingly dominated our lives at the time.
At the time it felt like we’d reached the pinnacle of mobile technology, and though the 3310 is making a comeback, many of the phones are sadly obsolete now. Luckily though, they’ve been immortalised in these throwback lyrics and they’ll make you want to chuck out your smart phone and dig out your trusty old brick.
“There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones” – Arctic Monkeys, ‘A Certain Romance’
What’s changed: Polyphonic ringtones are gone and we’re all stuck with dull default ones.
“Should be a good night in here, rammo in the main room, people keep pushing me though, no reception on the phone” – The Streets, ‘Blinded By The Lights’
What’s changed: Nothing really. Trying to meet your pals at a gig in a venue with no bars – not going to happen.
“So leave a message and I’ll call you back” – No Doubt, ‘Spiderwebs’
What’s changed: Who even checks their voicemail anymore, let alone calls anyone back off of it? Not even Gwen Stefani, probably.
“If you want me you can watch me on your video phone” – Beyonce, ‘Video Phone’
What’s changed: Videophones like The Lobster were made virtually obsolete by smartphones. They tried, though.
“LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, LOL smiley face” – Trey Songz, ‘LOL Smiley Face’
What changed: Emojis happened, basically.
“If you want me just text me / ‘Cause I’m having a chemical reaction” – Sugababes, ‘Virgin Sexy’
What changed: Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter. Only your nan texts people these days.
“And she won’t be surprised and she won’t be shocked / When she’s pressed the star after she’s pressed unlock” – Arctic Monkeys, ‘View From The Afternoon’
What’s changed: The four digit pass code is still knocking about for those without fingerprint recognition, but your phone is smart enough that you don’t need to mash the star key any more. Progress.
“Bluetooth the file to your phone and set this track as your default ringtone”, Haduoken – ‘Crank It Up’
What changed: Though you may have spent most of your school lunchtimes bluetoothing funny videos to your pals, messenger services like Whatsapp rendered the clunky connection useless.
“Check your credit on your new Nokia” – MIA, ‘MIA’
What’s changed: Nokias are pretty scarce now, as are PAYG contracts and the dread of running out of phone credit. God bless lengthy, expensive contracts, eh?
Sign up for the newsletter