Previous generations may remember a time before cell phones when people used to make phone calls using pay phones.
They hardly exist in the U.S. anymore, but some of the iconic red telephone boxes scattered around London remain as relics of a time when people used them to make calls while they were out and about.
But not everyone is convinced people actually ever used pay phones to communicate with others, particularly those of a certain age.
Phenix had a "silly question" regarding whether or not pay phones actually existed in real life and asked:
"Sorry if this is a silly question, but I've only seen pay phones in movies."
"Did pay phones actually exist everywhere irl or is it used to create drama in films? why aren't there any?"
The inquisitive user provided an example of what they were talking about.
Because you never know.
While there's no such thing as a "silly question," mean X users begged to differ.
Unfortunately, things took a serious turn.
After the comments became flooded with negative comments–including "death threats"–Phenix muted the thread and informed followers:
"I also woke up to a bunch of death threats, attacks, and mass insults. i really appreciate people who are going out of their way to be kind."
"(EVEN PREORDERING MY BOOKWOAHHH!) Your acts of kindness and generosity mean the world to me. Thank you."
"I can’t believe the amount of shaming over a question I meant with sincerity. I know I keep apologizing. But I really am sorry."
Kind-hearted social media users encouraged Phenix to ignore the trolls.
They also enlightened Phenix with personal anecdotes involving pay phones.
@AkanaPhenix Lol don\xe2\x80\x99t worry about the hateful replies, always ask questions. \n\nYes. We even had them at our schools so we could call for rides or forgotten stuff our parents needed to get to us.— (@)
@AkanaPhenix When I was in college we would drive downtown with nothing but lipgloss and some cash. \n\nIf anything happened we called from pay phones because we memorized EVERY phone number for friends and family.\n\nCell phones existed we just \xe2\x80\xa6 left them in our dorms.\n\nMagical times.— (@)
@AkanaPhenix Using a pay phone was usually something you were forced to do in a pinch. So, the quarter. Ma\xe2\x80\x99am, do you have a quarter? Or you asked an operator to call collect. These were exciting/frightening moments, and I still have nightmares where I don\xe2\x80\x99t have the quarter or I can\xe2\x80\x99t dial\xe2\x80\xa6— (@)
Some users provided evidence of some of the pay phones' functional existence.
A fun trivia fact was shared.
Phenix was touched by many of the genuine responses and expressed gratitude, writing:
"Reading people's retro memories, i feel so nostalgic for a time i didn't even grow up in."
"it all seemed so social and adventurous back then. i wish we could get some of that back."
Despite the hateful comments, Phenix expressed no regrets for asking the question.
"I didn’t expect any of this. so many stories, grief, celebrations, accidental love, BREAKUPS, memories. all around pay phones."
"i’m (officially) glad i asked."