1997: Pagers give teens a new way to say ‘07734’

Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 08:16:31-05

GREENWOOD — If you read the number sequence "07734" and don’t think "Hello," there’s a good chance you never had to decode pager messages.

Pagers or beepers were the must-have item for Hoosier teens 25 years ago.

The communication device began as a business tool, but soon became a fashion statement for area teens allowing them to communicate via numeric messages.

Pagers allowed a recipient to be paged or alerted to call a specific number. A user would then return the page via a phone call.

The device gave parents a faster way to get in touch with their children.

“I had to beg to get it,” Sarah Fischer told former WRTV reporter Ben Morriston in March 1997.

However since early beepers weren’t capable of handling text, teens often resorted to pager-speak, communicating with numbers only. Teens wanted to keep some messages "007" or a secret.

Jim Anderson with Quality Cellular said teens were drawn to certain pager features.

“They like the colors, predominantly the colors are the big thing. They like the ones with 3 to 4 bell tones,” he said.