"Cell Phone usage in the US has increased from 34 million to 203 million in the last ten years." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 16, 2011)
Personally, I have both a cell phonel and a land line (double expenses). Giving up my land line is a big decision, though I rarely use it.
Convince me I should give up my land line.
Do you suppose that in 20 years the land line will have gone the way of the party line?
That's a thought-provoking question, and one that I have pondered. At present, I have four land line phones and one cell phone. Since the land line is packaged with a Verizon Freedom Bundle--Internet, Direct TV, and land line phone--I have opted to stay with this plan. I like the convenience of caller ID, call waiting, messages, and "free" long distance throughout the U.S.
Of course, the cell phone has those attributes. However, I share a cell phone plan with family members (cheaper that way), and we have to monitor our long distance minutes to land lines during the day. Having my land line keeps me from extra long distance charges on the cell phone. (The land line is most useful when I get put on hold with another land line for 60 minutes. That can "eat away" a bunch of minutes on a cell phone plan. I hate "hold," but that's become the way of the world for "service.")
For now, I think I'll keep both types of phones. However, my daughters and their husbands have only cell phones. It seems to be a "generation" change. Few of their friends in their 20s and 30s have land lines. I suspect land lines will die out just as party lines are gone.
However, one neat thing about a land line is that it connects with my TV so when my phone rings while I am watching a program, the name of the caller pops up on my TV screen. Then I can decide if I want to talk with that person or finish my TV program. I'm joking!!! With Direct TV, I can pause my show, talk with the person, and then see the rest of my program without interruption. Technology is great!!!
My husband and I haven't had a landline in over five years. In our situation, it is not necessary. We get all of the same services with a cell phone. I guess we are part of that "generation" change that Lynne mentioned; however, I think it has more to do with streamlining our lives and saving money.
However, I could see if there was an elderly person in the house needing easy access to 911. Making a 911 call on a cell phone would definitely take more time. However, maybe one of those 911 devices might make more sense.
As for the battery issue, I think that is a small lifestyle change. I plug my phone in every night and my battery never runs out. However, if I didn't plug it in every night, I would probably have issues.
The other thing we have gotten rid of is cable. With Netflix and Internet streaming, there is just no need for it in our house. I much rather spend time outside or chatting with friends than watching TV. I have read that more and more people will be ditching cable in the coming years. I hope that is true. I think people should spend more time enjoying their own lives and less time watching other people's lives on TV.
Fortunately, we get ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS right off the airways, not even an outside antenna. No cable, no dish, no Internet. As for Netflix I am about five years behind you all in movies watched but eventually they come to TV, and they are new to me. :-) Am I showing my age?
My sons have tried cable, dish, Tivo, Netflix Hulu, etc. and try to convince us we are missing out.
I don't think so. I'm with you, Crystal, on the idea that we all need to get out and enjoy the outdoors and each other. That is better than all of the "reality TV", soaps, game shows, human transcripted nature shows, and travelogues. That is enjoying life, our true reality.
If I can solve the 911 issue I'm ready to move into the 21st Century with you,
I watch China and Japan and who as a society, are highly dependent on their cell phones, even replacing their computers with them.
I am keeping my landline for another year or two. It is the phone that is on all the emergency contact paperwork that has followed my children through their K-12 years. My son is just finishing his Junior year (the college search begins again!) and until he graduates HS we are keeping the landline.
However, all that being said - that is the only reason we are keeping it. Once he graduates, should a move occur in which we have to decide to install the landline or not, we won't bother. Our phone is also currently part of our TV/Internet package.
Interestingly, no one I know, young or old, who has established a home in the last year or two has set up a landline. Everyone contacts each other individually. Gone are the days when someone yells "Johnny, It's for you!!" through the house - now Johnny just answers his text.
No one had mentioned alternative phone services - I had Vonage for a few years and loved it. The only time we had problems occurred when my son was gaming online and I was simultaneously on the phone. Gaming just used too much bandwidth to have a good conversation. I have a friend who has the Magic Jack and loves it, though sometimes I call and his phone is off line. I finally decided just to pay for the cell phone bill and drop the home phone. That has worked out fabulously, as long as my babysitter has her cell phone with her if she needs to make calls or I need to get in touch with her.
My husband and I decided to keep our land line after a terrible storm hit our area and all power was lost. Damage to a cell tower and no way to charge the cell phones was a real issue. Our cordless phones didn't work either; however, our old princess style push button phone did work. It turns out that it gets its electricity from the telephone lines and the phone lines were still working.
We were the only family in our housing development that had a phone. We were able to keep in touch with our families so that they knew we were alright. During the power outage my neighbor's baby got sick and they couldn't dial 911. They had to use our phone. We all have cell phones and we have cordless phones all over the house (with basic local service but I'd never be without that land line and 1 old style phone in case of an emergency.
My family has kept a land line for a similar reason. While each member has his/her own cell phone, we keep the landline for situations in which cell reception fails (which doesn't happen too often, but has happened, especially with bad weather) and we need to reach people in a way that email won't help; and also as a general contact resource for when we don't want others to call us directly on our cells. The landline creates a means for communication, but allows for some distance/privacy in a way that folks callling our cell phones doesn't allot.
We did away with ours about three years ago as well. We subscribed to a wireless carrier product called HFC (Home Phone Connect). It has been great for us. With two young children it has forced us to educate them on 911 calls. HFC does not register your home residence with our county 911 center. So we have trained the kids that in the unfortunate event that a 911 request goes out that they make certain to mention our home address. With HFC we can take the unit anywhere we travel. Even in the car (if necessary but haven't played this out).
You make a really good point regarding instructing to our children on the proper use of 911.
Parents who have medical issues have prepared their son or daughter to use 911 and in some cases it has saved the parent's life. We should all do our best to give basic instruction to our children and know that they can give their address and other pertinent information in an emergency.
Now if we could just educate the general public. I shudder when watching the news and it reports a woman calling 911 to complain that McDonalds has run out of french fries.
911 is a privilege and one that we have come to count on but should not abuse.
It sounds like you answered your own question, the only real reason you have your landline is for your elderly mother. In 20 years time I sincerely doubt that any landlines will be in use, especially since most of the younger generation will grow up without having a landline in the home, or maybe never even seeing one. I haven't had a land line in 5 years now. The only people who ever tried to call were solicitors, anyone else worth talking to has my personal cell phone number for that exact reason!
You can still have a "land line" and only pay about $3.00 a month. I use and Ooma. It is a VoIP system and as long as you have reliable high speed internet, then this has been an great switch for my family. The calls are crystal clear, I have never had down service. I can listen to my messages either on the base itself or online if I am away from home. It has 911 service. My 2 year old dropped the device when I was doing some rearranging, it broke open! I popped it back together and it still works perfectly well. The device ranges in price depending on when and where you buy it, but you can get it for about $150.00. If you want to keep your phone number, then there is a one-time porting fee of $30.00. You can also get premium service for more, but I am happy with the basic service. Other similar products are like MagicJack, but I didn't like to call quality. Wy wife and I were sick of paying so much for a bundle package of TV, Phone, and Internet. So replaced everything but our internet. TV we went with ROKU and a subscription to Hulu Plus. We are saving about $90 a month now.