than call someone up.
I hate the telephone.”
I’m 99% positive that landlines are obsolete.
I know very few people who use a landline for home phone service anymore. My sister is one of the last holdouts of this bygone era — although she and her husband and their two oldest children each have a cell phone as well. [UPDATE: This article was written in March; at the time I hit publish today, their home unit has stopped working, and they have chosen to hang up that service. In their home, now landlines are obsolete, too.] My parents have switched to cellular service completely, so for them landlines are obsolete and have been for at least a year. My in-laws are a mixed bag — mom uses a cell, step-dad uses landline. I don’t know anyone who is a sole landline user.
For my family, cell phones AND landlines are obsolete!
Up until last month, neither my hubz nor I had cell phones, and we didn’t have a landline, either. Both of our moms want to get some kind of phone service for us, and my sister is completely on board with this plan. But this all has less to do with the wonderful characteristics of a cellular versus a home phone, and more to do with the fact that no one can ever get in touch with any of us.
The hubz has no phone at all, so he constantly misses calls from his employees. I have an iPod Touch, on which Skype is installed. It’s not the best service, but as long as I’m in a wi-fi access area like home, McD’s, or family members, I can make outgoing calls just fine. I even have a nifty set of ear buds connected with a microphone, so I can keep conversations personal as opposed to blaring them on speaker. Our son has the same set-up on his iPad. We do not pay for any phone service whatsoever. Free is nice.
Landlines are obsolete, except where work is concerned.
This works just fine unless an emergency happens at my husband’s place of employment while he’s still on the road home. He has a forty-five minute drive, which can make all the difference in the world if the emergency is time-sensitive. Last week he arrived home from work only to learn from me that he would need to head all the back and pick up some snakes from Fed-Ex.
Yeah, you heard me.
Who knew you can’t mail reptiles from Ohio to California? Apparently not the head-pooples of Petco.
In the days before cellular service, this would have been par for the course, because they wouldn’t have been able to reach him till he arrived home anyway. But now that cell phones are so common, everyone is expected to have one. And we don’t. So we aren’t normal, in the eyes of society.
Even the spirit of Mark Twain thinks landlines are obsolete:
“It is my heart-warmed and world-embracing
Christmas hope and aspiration
that all of us,
the high, the low, the rich, the poor,
the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated,
the civilized, the savage,
(every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth),
may eventually be gathered together in a heaven
of everlasting rest and peace and bliss,
except the inventor of the telephone.”
~Mark Twain, Christmas greeting, 1890
My problem does not lie solely with cell phones.
My problem is more with cell phone bills. We can’t shop around for the best price, either, because of where we live (oh, them boonies!). Verizon is the only provider who covers Farmersville. And they do a great job, too! Back before we cut expenses, we had service through them and never had issues with dropped calls or bad signals. So even if we could shop around, we probably wouldn’t. AT&T is the only other provider this far out from the city. But they do tend to drop calls. Besides, from what I’ve seen on coverage maps, Verizon has them beat hands-down.
All this talk of cell phones is irrelevant.
We aren’t getting cell phones. When I quit my job to stay home, we lost $20K annually — which translated to about $1300 per month take-home pay. Being able to yack on the phone just isn’t a priority for us. This infuriates our mothers. They are very, very unhappy with us for not being easy to reach. They call the Skype number and get seriously ticked off if we don’t answer it. We’re not ignoring their calls, mind you. It’s just that if the Skype program isn’t open on my iPod, the call doesn’t ring through. So we get all kinds of, “You never answer your phone! Why don’t you ever answer your phone! I can’t ever get hold of you!” We are very, very bad children.
My sister admits to a more selfish reasoning for wishing we had phones. She just likes to chat with me. We are best friends, and our talking would put the most excited, crack-addicted, caffeine-addled freak to sleep in under five minutes. We don’t get to catch up nearly as much as we used to, back in the day when I was employed and didn’t have time to chat.
Part of me gets a perverse pleasure out of not being part of the cell phone culture sweeping our nation. I love bucking trends and questioning a broken status quo.
Also, why should I pay a fee for someone else’s right to reach me? I don’t like making outbound calls. Making outbound calls is really the only reason I have the Skype feature — things like making doctor appointments, talking to my kids’ schools, taking care of business, etc. We would pay a minimal fee for that, if we had to, because it’s a necessity. But the fact is, it’s free, so it’s not a necessity. How many times can I say this in one article: For my family, cell phones and landlines are obsolete.
Why should we pay for a service we can get for free?
Anyone who needs to reach us can leave a voicemail, send an email, tag us on FaceBook, or catch me on Twitter. We are able to access all these functions at home or anywhere we can pick up a wi-fi signal. I get so offended at the notion that we are socially required to pay for phone service. If someone wants to reach us so badly, they should pay for it!
“E-mail is far more convenient than the telephone, as far as I’m concerned.
I would throw my phone away if I could get away with it.”
Soon, this may all be a moot point anyway. Senate Bill 271 would allow phone companies in Ohio to discontinue landline service beginning in 2013. Landlines are referred to as “outdated” and “vintage”. I don’t disagree. The Bill passed the Senate almost unanimously and is currently sitting in the waiting room of the House.
I imagine the Bill as a young hipster sitting around playing virtual Pictionary on its cell phone, sipping a no-fat, no-sugar, no-taste latte from StarBucks.