The Most Irrelevant Feature of Every Home

What do tape decks, doorbells and flip phones have in common? Over time they’ve become completely irrelevant. They all were at one time another a necessity of our daily lives or at least appeared to be. At least tape decks and flip phones possess some utility. You can listen to music on tapes and you can still call someone on a flip phone. But there’s really absolutely no reason to have a doorbell.

What do tape decks, doorbells and flip phones have in common? Over time they’ve become completely irrelevant. They all were at one time another a necessity of our daily lives or at least appeared to be. At least tape decks and flip phones possess some utility. You can listen to music on tapes and you can still call someone on a flip phone. But there’s really absolutely no reason to have a doorbell.

At one time, doorbells were actually considered to be a luxury item reserved for those possessing a substantial estate that required a musical chime that permeated the house and notified servants of a visitor. Think Downton Abbey era of homes.

The first electrical doorbell was invented by Joseph Henry way back in 1831 where it was originally just a buzzer sound. Over time inventors tweaked the doorbell to make it more of a melodic ding-dong type of tone. According to DoorbellFAQ.com (yes, that’s a real site) by the 1920′s, doorbells were being advertised as the perfect wedding gift and even a necessity for housewives so they wouldn’t be startled by banging on the door.

Today you can buy wireless doorbells and even customize the tone that is played when someone rings it, but I would venture this is an unnecessary device.

When I bought my home the doorbell was already a wireless one that simply required you to change the batteries every once in a while. At some point in the last two years, the batteries died and I just didn’t replace them. And you know what? An amazing thing happened. People still found a way to let me know they were at the front door. If they didn’t hear the doorbell ring, they just knocked. If I didn’t hear the knock, they called my cell from their cell.

Why do we need doorbells? If you’re in an apartment building or living in a place in the city that requires you to buzz people in, I can fully understand the necessity of having one. But for single home owners, doorbells are just a thing that will eventually break and require you to replace.

There is something to be said about the fact that as a kid when you heard the doorbell ring, it sparked a little joy in your childish heart. You would run to the door with anticipation of who might be on the other side. But as we grow older, we become more jaded and the ding dong of the doorbell makes us wonder who’s bothering us now.

Maybe doorbells are for kids. What used to be a luxury item is now simply a means of childlike entertainment.

In any case, I’m sticking with the idea that doorbells are no longer relevant. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

 

Image courtesy of Flickr user wharman

Husband. Father. Socializer. Mets Lifer. TV Afficianado. Consumer Engager.

David Marine is the Vice President of Brand Engagement for Coldwell Banker where he oversees the brand’s content strategy including acting as managing editor for the Coldwell Banker blog and heading up video production efforts. While Vice President by day, David runs a three ring circus at night as he is the father of 4 boys. He also happens to be married to Wonder Woman. True story.

  • http://twitter.com/LawyersTitleOC Lawyers Title OC

    Most people do just call you when they arrive, a lot of people assume the doorbell might be broken when they approach a house as well!

  • Samantha S. – CB Troy Helman

    I know that my nieces and nephews just LOVE to stand with the doors open and ring the doorbell over and over and over until an adult steps in to make it stop. That is the only time our doorbell is ever used.

    • http://twitter.com/david_marine David Marine

      Samantha, i have 4 boys at home and know this scenario very well. Whenever they visit grandma’s house the same situation occurs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/CESpencley Cindy Spencley

      HaHaHa! My 4 year old grandson likes to go outside and ring the doorbell and pretend he is the Pizza guy!!

  • Whome1188

    I
    prefer to hear the ring of a doorbell than the harsh pounding of
    someones fist against my house. It seems to me to be a civilized
    courtesy to have a button available. I am glad that I’m not so jaded
    as to consider someone/everyone coming to my door will be a nuisance or a
    bother.

    • http://twitter.com/david_marine David Marine

      Appreciate the comment. You’re probably right. I am a bit jaded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/judy.higgins.9277 Judy Higgins

    In some towns the doorbell operation is part of a building inspection and must be in working condition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CESpencley Cindy Spencley

    I like my doorbell.

  • Tonette Fornillos

    Yes, the sound of a doorbell seems whimsical for kids (including me:=))… but I think I still would prefer having it installed in my door. It simply offers convenience to both me and my guests. Perhaps I would take it that batteries will be a part of getting a doorbell. I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you.

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