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!