I think about how scary it must have been for my parents to let us drive in the mountains without cell phones, or maybe I am just used to being able to be reached all the time. We had a deal where I would call when I left work in Denver and then they had an amount of time that I would probably be home in, if the weather was snowy and I wasn't home the neighbor with a jeep would drive out and look for me. He did that a few times.
I totally LOVE that our work got us simple i-phones. It is so much nicer and actually I work less. We are on call from early to late every day, I start checking my phone Sunday evening in case staff is out sick for Monday. Before these phones if I was expecting an important email I would have to stay at the office all day making for often a 12 hour day, or take breaks at starbucks to boot up my laptop and check for the email. Now I can flex my time the way I need to and check for the important email. I can even do a quick reply.
The last time I had a serious phone issue was at the women's march. The place was so packed and people were trying to reach each other so calls and texts were not going through for a long time. I didn't have an emergency but I did miss meeting people because the messages were not getting through.