I remember in college most of the “popular ones” or the ones with cars had the pagers. The ones with loaded parents started getting their own cell phones. But for most of us, we just checked into our campus voicemail to see if anyone was trying to reach us. We started using the emergency campus phones to check our voicemail when that became an option.
I didn’t get my first pager until I graduated, and my friends got frustrated at not being able to reach me all day. We did use some of these pager codes, because East-Asia had ubiquitous adoption of pager tech and I had mostly Asian-American friends at the time. We had codes like 8282 (“fast fast” in Korean). I spelled out my name in numbers because I had a reasonably short name.
I thought that state of affairs would continue for a lot longer, but a I think about only 6 months later I got my first cell phone, because my job needed me to have one.
Ah, I miss the days when a part of my brain was NOT occupied with the possibility that someone might interrupt what I’m doing at the moment. When I could disappear in the library and no one would know (or care) where I was.