Are landlines obsolete?

old phone

old phone (Photo credit: Albert!)

I’ve had a smart phone for a while now.  It’s handy, it’s convenient, it’s fun to be able to check in on what my friends are up to on facebook and twitter.  I’ve even used it to publish posts on my blog.  But I just couldn’t convince myself to cut the cord…the cord to my landline, that is.  I’ve been mulling it over for quite some time.  I’m paying a little over $40 a month for something that I’m using probably less than once a week.  Is it worth it?  As I’m attempting to simplify my life, I’ve found myself questioning how I’m spending my money.  Could I put that $40+ to better use?

I finally made the decision.  I called AT&T today and cancelled my home service.  Very few questions asked.  The representative I spoke with offered a discount of $6 a month, but that didn’t do a lot for me.  We continued the process and my landline will no longer be functional after midnight.  End of story, right?

Well…not quite.  After I hung up, I kept trying to push my feelings aside, trying not to think about what was bothering me.  Then I told myself to just feel whatever emotions are there swirling around and figure out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling.  I’ve never been all that good at experiencing emotions (heck, that’s what I used food for… I didn’t want to have to feel anything.), so I had to force myself to come back to it a few times.  But I did it.  I sat with it and was surprised at what I was feeling.

I was feeling fear.  Fear that I wouldn’t have a way to get help for myself if something happened to me and my cell phone wasn’t working.  Fear that I would be isolated in an emergency.  Considering I live in town in an apartment complex with over 200 apartments and townhouses, I’m not ever going to really be isolated.  And my little friend Clara has forced me to get to know more of my neighbors.  So the fear is a tad irrational.  But…fear often is, isn’t it?

After working through all of that, I realized there was more to it than plain fear.  Have you ever noticed that nothing’s ever as simple as we think it should be?  I’ve had a landline since before we called them landlines.  Letting go of it brought up feelings of failure.  Weird, huh?  In my mind, I guess I still don’t fully think of cell phones as being “real” phones, and if I don’t have a “real” phone, well then, for some reason I see that as a failure on my part.  Wow!  There’s a lot there for me to work on.  Once I worked that out, the feelings faded.  After all, we all know that cell phones are so much more than the phones we grew up with (unless you’re a college kid as we speak).  They’re these little bitty computers you can put in your pocket.  Try doing that with Grandma’s old rotary wall phone!

16 Responses

  1. Very symbolic – cutting the cord! Imagine how cut-off those of us feel who have only landlines (because we have no cell coverage at home). I hope to follow your lead someday. 🙂

    • I totally understand that…we grew up out in the middle of nowhere and I’m sure cell coverage is still spotty, at best, out there…for now, I’m afraid you probably need both…but you know technology continues to advance and someday you’ll be able to cut the cord too…

  2. We’ve kicked around the idea of getting rid of the landline, too, but haven’t done it yet.

    • I thought about it for quite a while, Patti, before I took the plunge. I unplugged the phones this morning…not really sure what to do with them…right now they’re sitting in the spare bedroom…you know, more stuff hanging around collecting dust…just what I’m trying to avoid.

  3. Not a smartphone/FB-on-phone/whatever-on-phone person. Not that I don’t trust or anything … lol.

    Recently, though to save money I took the landline/businessline … which I guess technically was a VOIP line using Cable … and made it a ten-cent-a-minute-Go-Phone with AT&T. The business is closed but I wanted to keep the number for a while.

    Then I took my NEW pseudo-land-line number … one I have wanted for years … and made that a $20 a month Home AT&T line. I use it here like a land line and can take it with me when I travel.

    The old cell number is now a $2-a-day-Go-Phone. I only used it like 100 minutes a month anyway.

    Saving tons.

    • I like saving money…how did you manage to get a number you’d been wanting for years? Very cool? Not like 867 5309 or anything, is it???

      • He he he … No, it spelled out my name. And I had wanted it for years, So every so often I would dial it and see if it was in use.

        This time it wasn’t … and I had just shut down the home business after mega years (it spelled out what I sold … yes … I know … but it seemed like a good idea at the time)

        I casually said “Oh xxx-xxxx wouldn’t be available by any chance, would it?” and they gave it to me. Seems I had to pay for picking my own number years ago, but there was no charge as far as I can see.

      • Very cool! Sometimes we DO get what we want~

  4. I understand that feeling; the reason I still have mine is because I have DSL, and AT&T Isn’t great about doing that on its own. I also get the fear because it rarely goes out on stormy days even when the power takes a dive. Although the 2007 ice storm was enough to kill it…..

    If I can find a better internet option / or move soon, I will probably cancel it. The bill keeps going up despite the fact that I never use the phone anymore.

    • That’s really why I did away with mine, the bill kept rising and my usage was declining. But you’re right, even in the worst weather, my landline never went out.

  5. We still have our landline but no home phone. We need the landline for internet. We depend totally on our cells. We had a phone plugged in for a bit and couldn’t put up with the ridiculous marketing calls. I had a concern over our 911 service with just our cells but that was tested out a year ago when a planned burn off of our west pasture/field got away from us and we had to do 911. They were there in minutes. Teased us a bit though.. 🙂 We are very rural. I don’t think you will miss that landline at all and 40 bucks can certainly come in handy!

    • Oh, I know, marketing calls…who needs ’em? I always let the answering machine (whew…showing my age here) pick up my calls because that was almost all I ever got on the landline. Good test on 911. Yep, $40 is $40…I may as well have it in my pocket than AT&T’s.

  6. Something that has occurred to me lately is I tend to stay right where I answered the cell phone, like I am still plugged into the wall as we were when we were teenagers and could only go as far as the short cord would let us.
    I am mobile, but immobilized by the past.

    • I do the same thing, Lisa…then I shake my head, thinking I can get up and do things while talking on the phone. Honestly though, I’m not much of a talker on the phone…nothing like when we were teenagers and had to talk to the friends we just left at school an hour before. I like texting…but I don’t like all of the abbreviations…I still like proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation…I’m picky like that. But you can text me any time, I won’t make corrections or anything rude like that.

      • I’m a grammar freak as well. The extra long sentence I wrote in the above comment bugged me a little, but I was on a roll and my fingers just typed on!
        I have tried to do the cute little abbreviations, but in the end I just can’t bring myself leave it that way.

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