Saturday, August 27, 2022

Why I'm not giving up my landline

 

HALLIE EPHRON: I used to tell myself that I needed a landline for emergencies. When the cell towers blow over in a hurricane. When we have a power outage for days and mine is the only phone on the block that's hard wired. When I wake up hearing an intruder in the house and I'd prefer to call 911 on a phone that doesn't light up?

That, or some other compelling reason to be paying about $700 a year for what's become largely a vestigial organ?

The only thing I use the landline for these days is to call my misplaced cell phone and hope I haven't left it wherever it is with the ringer turned off. (Now there's a setting my phone needs: One that will make my cell phone RING when I call it from my landline -- even when I've turned the ringer off.)

What's snuck up on me is how dependent I've become on my cell phone. And I used to make fun of all those subway riders glued to their little screens.

Just how bad it's gotten was driven home the other day when I headed out for an overnight and, when I was halfway there, realized I'd left my cell at home. No big deal, I told myself. I could manage 24 hours without a cell phone.

NOT.


Within an hour of arriving at my friend's house, my anxiety level spiked. Who was trying to reach me? Who thought I'd wiped out on the road beause I always answer my cell?

Who could I call to let them know I didn't have my cell? NO ONE because the only place I keep phone numbers is on my cell!

And who knew there were so many moments in the day when I absentmindedly pick my cell and check the stock market. Or the weather. Or CNN or the NY Times or Washington Post because God forbid a single thing could happen and me not know about it.

I truly felt addicted... or at least the way I imagine an addict feels without a fix.

When I got home, the first thing I did was look all over for my cell. It was in none of the usual places.

So I ran over to my land line (conveniently and reliably plugged into the phone jack in the front hall), intending to call my cell. But before I could pick it up, the land line rang. I didn't even bother to see what number flashed on the readout because I knew it was not a real person.

Do you have a land line? Why do you tell yourself you're keeping it? Do you answer it when it rings?

And are you as glued to your cell phone as I am or still in denial, telling yourself you could leave it home for 24 hours and not go bananas?


Confession's good for the soul.

82 comments:

  1. Landline? Of course we have a landline. Do we answer it when it rings? Of course we answer it [unless it’s a spam call; those we simply ignore].

    John leaves his cell phone home all the time . . . he could be without it for days [and often is] and it wouldn’t bother him in the least. I, on the other hand, remember [mostly] to take my phone with me and it troubles me [some] if I somehow manage to get out of the house without it.

    Would I be distressed to be without it for twenty-four hours? Probably, and although I have been known to turn around and go back home to get it, I don’t particularly need the phone as much as I need the peace of mind I get from knowing that I have it in case I need it. Of course, these days I can pair my phone with my Fitbit in order to receive text messages on my tracker, so I imagine it won’t be too long before that tracker finds a way to actually substitute itself for my phone . . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joan, it's already happened. My daughters have Apple Watches, and they can take calls on them while they work out. It's always funny when one says "I'm talking on my watch", like she's Agent 99 or somebody!

      Delete
    2. This is reminding me when I got a flip phone - SO COOL because it looked like the communication devices on Star Trek.

      Delete
    3. I didn't know that about Apple watches, Karen . . . Dick Tracy would be pleased!
      We definitely need Star Trek communicators, Hallie . . . .

      Delete
  2. I'm as glued to the cell as you are, Hallie. It's always in my back pocket, unless I'm wearing a skirt, in which case it's in my purse (which is with me, because if I'm wearing a skirt I'm out somewhere). It's my step counter and my connection to the outside world.

    That said, we do have a landline. I check the display every time it rings, but never answer it. The batteries in the wireless handsets are wearing out but we can't bring ourselves to buy new ones. And the bill keeps going up. Ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Landline? NOPE, I cut the cord 12 years ago in Toronto since 99% of the callers were telemarketers. That being said, I am pretty much addicted to my smartphone. Like Edith, I use it as my step counter. I only turn off the ringer & put it on airplane mode overnight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And THAT'S why I keep my landline - so at least SOMETHING in the house will ring in the middle of the night if my kids need me for an emergency something-or-other. Which means it's safe to go to sleep as long as it's not ringing.

      Delete
    2. iPhones have a setting where only calls to your favorite numbers will ring through at night. I restrict my favorites to family and close friends to whose middle-of-the-night calls would outrank sleep.

      Delete
  4. I still have a landline through my cable company and an old Tracphone. I keep the landline because my 93 year old mother knows that number, I am thinking about getting mobile service through cable company because I can have the number I have had for over 35 years. The tracphone I bought in 2008 when I flew to France and wanted to be able to call from airport if I was delayed, don't use very often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had to look that up: Tracphone.

      Delete
    2. My first cell was a Tracfone. Pay as you go, no contract.

      Delete
  5. We keep the landline because it was Steve's (and his dad's before him) business number for decades, and is still listed on his website. It was driving me mad, though, ringing a dozen times a day with spam calls, so I did two things.

    First, I added a feature called Reveal. This forces anyone calling that number to additionally dial an extra digit (8) in order to get through. Which means robocalls, which are automated dialers for either recordings, or for human beings hooked up to headsets, can't get through. Instant bliss. (And everyone who calls wants to know how I did this, because the recorded message says "To prove you are not a robocaller", or somesuch.)

    The second thing I did was to forward all calls that do get through to my cell phone. So actual human beings who dial 8 get another chance to talk to us. However, if they are spam callers Verizon's spam filter will also catch those, most of the time. That's the important best part of this.

    The Reveal feature is turned on by dialing *99 and waiting for prompts, so if your service has it, that's how you can tell. (*98 DEactivates it). To forward calls, at the dial tone press *72, wait for another dial tone, then dial the 10-digit number you're forwarding your calls to. Answer that phone when it rings, then hang up. To turn off the forwarding, wait for a dial tone, press *73. When you hear two beeps the forwarding is canceled.

    This has made such a difference to my peace of mind, especially during election season. Our house phone never rings and I can turn the cell on silent. Bliss! Hope these tips work for you all, as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hank Phillippi RyanAugust 27, 2022 at 8:15 AM

      Thank you! This is so brilliant!

      Delete
    2. I did not know about Reveal. I have Verizon, so will be checking this out.

      Delete
    3. GREAT information! I wonder if they charge extra for REVEAL and call forwarding...

      Delete
    4. Hmmm... REVEAL on Verizon is a "fleet tracking service" - that isn't wat you're talking about, is it?

      Delete
    5. No. Reveal is on landlines. Sorry for the confusion.

      Delete
    6. Hallie, Reveal is part of the same package from Cincinnati Bell--which is now Alta Fiber-- that also includes Caller ID and other features. We had it for years and didn't know we did. I don't think they wanted us to know.

      Delete
  6. I was reluctant to give up the landline because of my experiences dealing with the cell phone companies as a 9-1-1 supervisor. I've been retired 10 years, so I really truly hope the technology and processes have improved by now. A cell phone would give a dispatcher its location when the call rings in, but it's approximate, based on geographical coordinates. A landline gives the dispatcher the caller information based on billing, including an exact address. This meant that landlines were the way to go if you wanted to be able to call 9-1-1, whisper something and hang up and have them find you. If a caller was on a cell phone in a big apartment number, it was difficult to help them if the caller couldn't tell you the address or apartment number. I remember how relieved I was when I was on the line with someone who had overdosed in a big apartment building and the crews finally found her.

    For subscriber information, a 9-1-1 supervisor had to call the cell phone company and go through whatever steps that company had created (often signing and faxing a form) and then wait for a call back with the address for the cell phone. Then there were the calls where someone else called in about a person in danger who was at an unknown location. We had to figure out which cell carrier (difficult as people change carriers and take their numbers) and call and try to get them to 'ping' the phone and give us the location. Sometimes I called 4 different cell phone companies before I found the right one. I had company representatives tell me I needed a subpoena for the information. They would call me back minutes or hours later, often too late to be really helpful. It was a very frustrating part of my job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gillian, all I can think is what an excellent mystery series you could write with this background!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you Roberta! I have thought about it. It seems like a huge endeavor though. I am so impressed by all you wonderful authors that keep me entertained.

      Delete
    3. Moreover you could CHARGE for your expertise! It's the kind of fascinating information we crave.

      Delete
  7. We cut off our landline this year, though I felt nostalgic about losing the number that we'd had our entire married life. No one called us there except spammers, and one friend. I explained that we decided not to keep it only for her LOL. Yes addicted to cell. Hallie, you can use Find My Phone from your computer or ipad--it will cause the phone to beep and you'll find it. We once found John's when he'd dropped it on a bike ride in Key West--someone had picked it up, decided it was wasn't useful because it was locked, and discarded it in a nasty city trash can.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not have that app on my mac. Going to look for it now.

      Delete
  8. Totally addicted. It’s sad and terrible, but there it is. But listen to this: I saw a story on the news last night which said there’s more computing power in a cell phone than the astronauts had on the first moon mission. They really are a way to get anything you ever wanted to know instantly. And what could ever be wrong with that?
    We do have a landline, mostly because it’s better to call 911 from a landline, since it knows where you are, and the cell phone does not, or at least with no such precision. That’s why 911 operators now answer with “where is your emergency” instead of “what is your emergency” in case people are calling from a cell phone.
    No one EVER uses it, we rarely answer it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hank Phillippi RyanAugust 27, 2022 at 8:13 AM

      Oh, rats, that was me Hank.

      Delete
    2. Hank you are absolutely right about calling 9-1-1, see my comment above.

      Delete
    3. So funny, Hank - I knew it was you just from that first sentence!

      Delete
  9. I have a landline for 911 purposes, hooked up to an answering machine filled with political robo calls and threatening messages from the "IRS." After navigating a detour north of Nashville, my husband accepts google maps as a necessary element in our lives (or we might still be sitting on I-65). When I go off the grid, I put my cellphone on airplane mode, and, other than texting the kids once a day, ignore it. How sweet it is.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent post, Hallie! The actual landline to our house died about seven years ago and we didn't even notice. When we did finally catch on that we had no dial tone, we canceled it. As for the attachment problem to my cell...My name is Jenn, and I'm an addict. *sigh*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I confess, I suspected as much. Hope you weren't continuing to pay for the landline all those years.

      Delete
  11. Gave up my land line when I permanently moved from CT last year. It stayed around to help me find my cell phone and to keep my wi-fi. Since I no longer drive, I’m sure to have the cell phone with me to connect with rides — Uber or friends. And, mainly because of this, I panic when the silly thing wanders off on its own… I surely never left it in the freezer next to the ice cream!

    ReplyDelete
  12. It’s me Elisabeth with the phone in the freezer.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I still have my landline and everyone knows if they want to talk to me, that is the number to call as my cell is always on vibrate and I never hear it. I give out landline to medical professionals and services. When I do move, then I will give up my landline. I've been known to leave my house without my cellphone without a care in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We have a landline. Most everyone calls us on that and we can each pick up a receiver and talk to the kids together. The robo calls and spam calls are annoying but *99 on our phone is for getting messages. I think I'll call our provider and see if we can add a service like Karen's.

    As for my cell phone, I do use it for calls and texts, for Facebook (although it is much harder to maneuver through and I cannot edit my posts from my phone). I also visit JRW from my cell and I listen to audiobooks and read Kindle and Hoopla books on my phone. I kept my last cellphone and listen to audiobooks on it, too. Even though it no longer serves as a phone, it is still a computer!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have a landline. Living alone on a rural road, it was my only way to reach someone during the 30 days without power of the ice storms of 1998.
    I have an old cell that loses its charge rapidly and I hate speaking on it. I still give my home number when asked for one and I still receive occasionally calls from people having had my number for decades.
    I don’t answer to weird or unknown numbers and I don’t have too many of those.

    My daughter asked me to bring my cell when I walk alone on rural roads in case of problem and no one around. So I take it and use it as step counter but only outside home.
    As for reading something, I prefer using my tablet because letters are far too small on my cell. I’m certainly not addicted to it.
    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have no landline and no addiction to a cell phone... I do enjoy the cell for directions when driving, about once a month, and also as a carrier of audiobooks when I'm working outdoors for hours at a time. But otherwise, I always tell folks to email or call my husband as I'm unlikely to look at my phone for days.

    My addiction is to my laptop. I learned to type in elementary school when my parents gave me my first (orange!) Hermes portable typewriter for my 12th birthday, and I think through the fingers of both hands. The internet, of course, increases the dopamine factor exponentially: my old library-card-catalogue excitement pushed to the max, the ability to find the answer to ANY question if I can only figure out how to frame it and where to look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also listen to audiobooks outdoors. It's a great way to multi-task/stay entertained.

      Delete
  17. Here is the dinosaur. We only have a land line. It is in my father’s name, who is dead, but Bell in its wisdom will not let us change the phone to our name and keep the same number which has been in the family for over 50 years, but they will give us a new number and return our number to the number bank. Because we are my father in name for the phone, we do not exist in the phone book, so no one can ‘find’ us.
    It also does not have ‘see who-ever is calling’ on it, so yesterday someone called who I speak to every 2 years, and she was affronted that I did not know who was calling. Why can’t people identify themselves when they call just like saying hello? “Hello, this is Margo calling. How are you?” Not too much effort was it?
    We do have an old cell phone left-over from one of the kids. I suppose it does things, but it is only for emergencies, so no data, etc, not that I know how to use that. I have no use for it in my pocket with my garden shears, its weight pulling down my pants, and have no need really to call my kids every 10 minutes to see if they are busy. They are adults and have their own lives, and will tell me when they are ready.
    I probably could use two phones so I could call Jack from the basement or the garage or wherever he is when it is time for meals, but that would assume a) he had a phone as well, and b) knew where it was, and c) actually answered it…
    By the way, I also don’t have a purse…never have.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We cut the cord quite a few years ago. I will never forget that phone number though, as I still have at least two services I use frequently that originally set up with that number (or some part of it) as the PIN. That kind of makes me smile.

    My (much) older sister, on the other hand, still has a landline and I will never let her get rid of it because she is NOTORIOUS for having her ringer turned off on her cell phone. So 90% of the time if I need to reach her, I try the cell first and then the landline to actually reach her.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I gave up the landline a few years ago due to the ridiculous cost. While most calls were telemarketers, it also was the only number many people knew to reach the family business & my parents. I ported the number to a tracfone and buy a $100 year long minutes card. The number is still active and the cost a fraction of the price.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It has only been in the last few years that cell phones would work where I live. Verizon is the only service that reliably works at my house. So I haven't had a smart phone very long and I hate talking on it and texting is worse. However I do take if I am going out. Since hardly anyone has my cell number, no one calls me, and I have it on Do Not Disturb. Calls from certain people can still get through. But most people know to call my landline first. Ever since I fell and broke my ankle, with no phone, I always have my landline with me when I go outside to do anything. It even works as far as my mailbox, which is pretty far. If I am taking a walk, it's my cell phone.

    You folks who are glued to your cell, how do you stand all the constant beeping noises? My son was here and I kept hearing all of them. He was so used to them he didn't pay any attention but they drove me crazy. They were notifications he got a text or some other thing. He showed me how to turn the sound off for notifications but still keep it on for media.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband has two devices that beep constantly. He does not notice the noise. I am driven crazy as well and joke that someday I will hit them with a hammer. Once when he went away for ten days and left one at home, I put it in a drawer wrapped in shirts so that I would not hear it! Meanwhile, he also has some sort of exercise watch that ALSO receives texts and news headlines, thankfully silently. This level of engagement is beyond my comprehension.

      Delete
    2. I turned off all the notifications on my cell phone but two, the ones my family members use.

      Judi, a friend here (name Judy) just fell in her shower this week and broke both ankles. She literally had to crawl through her home to get to her cell phone--it took her an hour! Now all of us in our friend circle are being mindful of taking our phones with us into the bathroom. We're all getting older, and some of us live alone now, like Judy.

      Delete
    3. Oh my goodness, how terrible. I fell backwards out of my tub. I wasn't hurt too bad but the basket of dirty laundry that I fell into was never the same. I immediately ordered a shower stool to sit on.

      Several years ago my aunt got stuck in her tub and couldn't get out. She was home alone and stayed in that tub for more than 24 hours until someone came to check on her. After hearing that story I made sure my phone was aleays handy on the mat, not cross the room on the counter. I don't have to answer it if it rings, but if I need help it is there. I recommend everyone do this.

      Delete
    4. Yikes, what awful stories. But they confirm that I'm not crazy. I always take my phone in the bathroom and put it on the shelf over the tub. And I take it outside when I'm doing chores in the yard. A friend's friend fell working in her garden last year and broke her shoulder and she didn't have her phone. She screamed for help for an hour before a neighbor heard her. And unlike Rhys (below) I never ever go for a walk without my phone, strictly for safety reasons.

      Delete
  21. I had a landline until about 37 months ago. I had to finally give it up because the money spent on that bill would be needed to help pay the monthly car payment that I had to take on at that time.

    I only have a flip phone so I'm not glued to the cell phone as many others are. However, I wouldn't be able to leave it home for 24 hours because I need it in order to keep on top of things in my life. That's how people get ahold of me now for anything from appointment confirmations to simply (on the rare occasion, admittedly) that someone just needs to talk to me. I don't have a lot of beeping noises though. I don't get enough texts to worry about it and my ringer sounds like a normal phone ring.

    But with Verizon shutting down the 3G network as of January 1st, I have been sent a new phone that is an upgrade and I'll have to start using that soon enough so there's a chance I might become glued to it much like everyone else. Now I just have to open the box with the new phone to see if they sent me a damn "smart" phone or just an upgraded flip phone like I prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The only Cells in the house are found in our bodies. Back when the service was starting, I couldn't hear using one. We never adapted, thought we talk about getting burner phones for emergencies. We kept the landline because it is a CapTel phone that comes with a transcription service. The only bad part of this is when we have a power failure, we also lose the landline. If I am traveling
    and cannot find a pay phone, which is more common, I rely on the kindness of strangers.. So far, many angels have guided my path.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coralee, look for an old-style, non-electronic phone that plugs into the phone jack and does not need electricity to use. They will still work even if power is out. I keep one in a drawer for emergencies. They're cheap, too, sometimes around $10.

      Delete
    2. My phone jack connected line was a good friend when the power went out on the entire east coast. Not sure it would work now, even if I plugged in the jack. Will have to check.

      Delete
  23. I ported our old landline to Google Voice several years ago to get rid of the monthly charges. We use an Obihai box to connect the old phones to the Internet and they still ring if anyone calls, but if we're traveling we can also make our cell phones ring or just get the voicemails via email.

    Just FYI, if you have a computer, you can use the "find my phone" feature with both Android and Apple to make your phone ring, even if the ringer is turned off.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Rhys here; cell
    Phone addict. I’m lying in bed now doing my morning ritual : Washington post, NY Times, local paper, Wordle, Facebook etc. The only addict behavior I will not join is using my cell phone when I go on a walk. But yes, we have a land line that John always uses and I use to find where I’ve left my cell phone

    ReplyDelete
  25. The landline went years ago due to the cost. The cell phone was acquired as soon as they became available--being in the field and away from home for long stretches of time, the cell phone was a lifeline to home. I still keep it on at night in case of emergencies. The guys are grown now, but old habits die hard.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is clear from reading all your posts that Switzerland has many fewer telemarketers, or else our provider is better at blocking them; if I had as many telemarketing calls as it appears many of you do, I'd probably answer differently. However, as things are now, I have both a landline and a cell phone. The landline is for phone calls in and out--all my friends know to call me on the landline first, because the connection is slightly better, and it is my first choice for making all my calls. But I LOVE my smartphone for everything else: looking things up on Google, checking maps, reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks, counting my steps, texting, taking photographs, checking the weather, using the flashlight, playing Wordle, AND being reachable when I'm not at home (if I want to be reached, which I often don't). And what about Shazam? What a great app! I'm in a restaurant, and there's this terrific song from the late Sixties playing in the background, and I can't quite remember what it is. So I turn on Shazam, which catches the tune and tells me the song title, the band, and the date. One of the joys of modernity for the forgetful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's an app that does that for bird calls. And another one that tells you what plant you're looking at from a photo. And one that translates... SO USEFUL!

      Delete
  27. We still have our landline number, Hallie, but it's connected to the internet and costs about $7 a year. We never use it, though. Mainly we've kept it as that number is attached to accounts that we've had for donkey's years. Rick has some sort of service on, like the Reveal Karen mentioned above, that keeps spam calls from getting through.

    I'd say about a medium on the phone-addiction scale. I definitely would not leave home without it, but I don't check it all the time, either. I think I'm going to have to replace my phone before my upcoming trip to England as the battery is getting a bit flakey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. QUESTION: Trying to recall if you mentioned that you are Deaf in one ear? My question was about the cell phone and the landline, With partial hearing loss, do you find it easier to use the cell phone or the landline?

      Diana

      Delete
    2. Much, much easier on the cell phone, as I use a bluetooth headset on the good ear. Or speaker.

      Delete
  28. I'm addicted to my cell phone. I try to tell myself I'm not, but the truth is I am. Not as bad as some are, but if I left it home for 24 hours, I'd be very worried like you are.

    I do have a landline. It's through my cable company, and it gave me a discount on my cable as a package. That's the only reason I have it. The ringer is off since no one has the number, therefore the only people who call it are telemarketers. And I can't remember the last time I called from it. Yes, my package to have it is cheaper than it would be if I didn't have it. Only reason I keep it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a package like yours Mark.
      Danielle

      Delete
  29. Alas, poor landline, I loved you well! We have no landline phones here anymore. The last true landline company left the area a few years ago, now, everything is either cell or internet based and if the internet goes down....so does the landline phone. We gave it up when that happened. Miss it though. It's a great way to communicate in a pinch. The good news for us is that we are so close to Canada, that it's like having a backup system for cell towers. Canada does not shield their towers the way the US does so calls often relay through Canada even where there is no service from the US side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep reading about phone companies ready to shut down their wired land lines...

      Delete
  30. When answering machines came into existence my now ex-husband bought one. I laughed at him. "What? You are so important that you can't miss a phone call?" Now, the land line rings, and I don't answer it. "You want to talk to me? Leave a message." We keep it because that is the number that I use for all those consumer records that are retrieved by phone number: the vet, the doctor, the pet store, etc. However, it is on the list of inessentials. I get the "keep it because..." thing, though. When the power grid cascaded and the entire east coast was without electricity, I called my younger sister in Colorado on my phone that was still connected to the phone line in the wall! "Can you turn on the television and tell me what is going on outside my front door?" That doesn't work any more, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now the thing we can't live without is the internet.

      Delete
    2. Hallie, THIS is what I feel. When our power goes out and we lose internet, I definitely have what is, to me, a scary level of withdrawal.

      I have also noticed this when I've had doctors' appointments in the past year, and have neglected to bring either my laptop or my phone. Because reading material has been removed due to Covid, several times I have had to sit patiently, doing nothing, once for over an hour. This was far more challenging than I would like. I think of all those historic photographs from the 1930s of people standing in breadlines. These days, they'd all be staring down at their phones.

      Delete
  31. At almost 65, I've never owned a cell phone and at this point still have no desire to. They are expensive to buy and I can't afford the monthly fees on top of that. Until about 10 years ago, my land line was also on a cord so could only go so far from the base. I now have the handsets but batteries keep getting low so switching out to another of the 3 that came with the set for longer calls is a pain. Frankly, I don't use the phone much anymore. I message or email with many people via my PC. Also my landline is unlisted so if an unknown number comes up it goes to voicemail rather than being picked up if I'm home. I can only recall a handful of times in the last 10-15 years where a cell may have come in handy but I still wear a watch and can ask someone for assistance if needed so enjoy being able to disconnect for a bit.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I have my landline because it's a cool number: xxx-0852 (straight up the middle). I have a cell phone for my convenience, no one else's. I called AAA a couple of months ago, and that was the first time I'd even turned it on (except to check that it was still charged) in months. I have given the number to maybe 6 people, and they all know to call the landline first. Your desire to chat while I'm in the middle of something is not important to me. Anyone can call the landline and leave a message. My husband is constantly playing with his cell, and he gets tons of spam calls. I don't get any spam calls on my cell phone.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I was so frustrated with our landline in Houston. We'd get easily 20 spam calls a day from Unavailable. My husband didn't want to get rid of it since it was part of a bundle. My new home does not have a landline and it is mercifully quiet as a result. My husband is renting a house with our son for a while and he is not getting a landline because he finally had it with all the spam calls. Just the other day he set his phone down and couldn't find it. He asked our neighbor to come over and call him so he could find it. She admitted she had the same problem and had a cheap "burner" phone for just that purpose, to call and find her everyday phone.

    ReplyDelete
  34. HALLIE: Mobile phone / cell phone is great with Text capability. I have been Deaf since age 2. I remember when I was five years old, I asked my Mom why she was so worried about my being deaf. We were shopping at a local department store. She used this as an example. She said that if she was Deaf, she could not use the telephone to call another department store to see if they had a dress that she wanted. That was light years away before the Internet (my hearing Uncle who was a professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University was one of the first people to use a computer and was involved with the introduction of the Internet). I am beyond grateful for the Internet and mobile phones because as a Deaf person, I can call up information as if I was a hearing person. My Father is a Luddite (LOL) and REFUSES to use a computer or anything like that. I am grateful that my Mom, despite being from the World War II generation, was willing to use a mobile phone because we can keep in touch via texting. My Mom's teenage students were surprised that my Mom knew how to use a Cell Phone.

    With my mobile phone (Apple iPhone) I can text my hearing family members. My boyfriend and I can text each other without having to go through the Relay Service, which was what I used to do at University if my former boyfriend and I wanted to have a phone conversation.

    When I was seven years old, my family bought a BIG heavy old Teletypewriter device for the Deaf, which used to be an Engima machine during the WWII! I remember that we could call the local police station if there was an emergency because the police had a TTY.

    For me, a landline pulls up memories of the OLD TTY. In California, they provide FREE phones for Deaf and hard of hearing people. You can get a portable TTY (smaller than a Royal typewriter) or a CapTEL, which has the caption capability. When My Mom makes a phone call, you can read the Captions of what the other person is saying, That means that I could make a phone call and the only people who understand my Deaf accent are my hearing family members. However, when I met you at Bouchercon, you seemed to understand my speech despite my deaf accent? Perhaps because you were a teacher?

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
  35. I gave up my landline years ago - I think I realized we had moved beyond it when every single person in the house had their own phone except Youngest, who was still quite small. In my case, there were other motives - on my country road, when the power went out from branches falling on the lines, the phone often went as well. And we were serviced by the tiny local phone company (it used to be Saco River Tel & Tel) and when we first got online in 1996, they were also the only internet provider! It was genuine nice to be able to walk to my phone/internet company when I had a problem - can you imagine doing that today? - BUT, because it was so small, our local coverage was only our school district's four towns. Which meant any time I called into Portland, where my husband worked, where my church was, and where my kids went to school, it was a long di$tance call. I wasn't sorry to see the service go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JULIA: Can you imagine what it would have been like if you and your husband were Deaf?

      Diana

      Delete
  36. During Hurricane Katrina, we had a power outage in my Wisconsin neighborhood (fried squirrel in a neighborhood substation.) The line itself worked, but good luck finding a non-electric phone. I wound up using a novelty frog phone that chirped instead of ringing.

    And now my phone and I are attached at the wrist. Everything is on it, including all my texts and an old voice mail from Owen. But I refuse to pay using it-- that's too vulnerable. Indeed, I prefer paying for things in cash; it tends to keep my spending in check. it's too easy to put things on my various accounts just by giving the phone number to my OTHER cell. (Yes, I have two of them now. I use one to find the other.) The second one stays home, always plugged into the charger. It might as well be a landline.

    So much of my life would have been different if I'd had a cell phone half a century ago. For starters, my memorable first date with Owen would never have happened if we'd been able to touch base with each other. And I would be a very different person, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  37. We still have a land line that’s operative but I long ago got rid of the phones we do have a plain no electricity required Princess phone! That’s for emergencies. Which so far haven’t happened.

    Alexa is synced with my contacts, so I can ask her to call anyone on that list. In case I roll my ankle again while stark nekkid in the bathroom. Nice to have access and we have Echos on every floor, all within voice reach

    But that wasn’t the question. Yes, I’m devoted to my phone. And it goes everywhere with me. But the ringer is rarely on, prefer vibration mode — don’t say it — so if you call me, I’m unlikely to pick up.

    And I turn it off when I go to bed.

    I’m over my addiction to Spelling Bee but devoted to wordle and phrazle and the NYT and WAPO and Heather Cox Richardson.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I still have a landline because of reasons others have mentioned, but also because I dread trying to disconnect it as the provider tends to argue these things. I do also like having a backup if the power is out for an extended time...which (knock on wood) hasn't ever happened. FYI, if you have an iPhone and an Apple Watch, the Watch has a feature that will cause the phone to chime even if its ringer is off.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hilarious and oh so true post, Hallie! I am superstitious: If I leave my house without my cell phone, I will get in a car crash or my engine will die and no one will stop because everyone assumes I have a cell phone! Ironically, my landline is via Comcast, and is plugged in, and every time we've had a power failure or the cell towers are down, so is my landline. And yet, I can't quite pull the plug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I never thought of that. For me, the cell phone is a lifeline. I often use it to communicate with people who may not understand my Deaf accent.

      Diana

      Delete
  40. We have our landline still. I am very firm about it. A few reasons: My mom has Alzheimer's but knows my number, my husband before we were married was in the San Francisco Earthquake many years ago. The only way to get through was on an out of area phone line. It took hours before I was able to reach him and find out he was okay (he traveled on the bridge that fell daily). Cell phone coverage can be disrupted in an earthquake - a landline will work though. We had a huge fire here a few years back. My landline worked - my cell did not. The last reason is to call 911 and they will know where to find us right away. My kids also call this phone when my husband and I don't answer our cell phones. We aren't attached to our phones. If the phone rings we answer it if it rings at least twice. We have robocall which blocks robot calls. If it rings more than once it is an actual person. It often blocks the robots before it rings once but sometimes it rings once and then is silent. We love it!

    ReplyDelete
  41. In Australia you can get free landline with your internet connection through VOIP, voice over the internet protocol

    ReplyDelete