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Is the telephone land line obsolete?

Updated on September 22, 2012
These were always in the kitchen area in homes
These were always in the kitchen area in homes
the Princess phone
the Princess phone

I recently got the telephone bill for our land line-meaning-connected by telephone cables, you know, if you are at least 20 yrs. old. While your actual phone may be cordless and free ranging like organic chickens, the method is cable or telephone lines and strung along the poles. The bill was $50, of which, half seemed to be taxes and usage fees. The actual cost of the phone service was $25.

Then, my HTC 4G phone rang. I answered it and after the call I thought, do I actually need the land line? For $35, I get unlimited data and 300 min. of phone calls. It does so many more things than the cordless phone. Previously, my reasoning in keeping the land line was because of the answering machine and, more importantly, the old legacy phone number that we have had since before cell phones. Lots of data during that time referred to that home phone number.

The more I thought about why I needed to keep my old line, the more I came to the conclusion that it was now a waste of money, except for in a few instances- habits are hard to break and letting go of the past is harder.

I recalled the days of pre-cell phones, you had to hunt for a phone booth, talk to an operator for collect calls. In the 60's, the only portable land line phones in a house were if you had phone plug-in jacks, then you could take the dial phone to any room, plug it in. The smallest of the dial phones were the Princess phones, targeted for women. Even into the 80's, much of the world was land-line, even into the 90's. Actually, cell phones or smart phones, did not make the land line obsolete until a few years ago. In 1997, I had a Motorola flip phone, which was the smallest then and it was still analog, not digital. The only thing good was making a call, there was nothing else to use it for. Before then, cell phones and service was spotty and expensive.

The funny thing is, some age groups, like those under 18, may have no idea what a dial phone is, depending on what phone their parents had.


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    • aethelthryth profile image

      aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

      We have a candlestick phone. Not the real, old candlestick phone, but one made to look like the old kind, and it has a dial. We have it partly because we miss dials, but mainly to convince people we're weird. Not that most people need convincing...

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      okay, sure. I suppose living in earthquake areas is the same, but I am not sure

    • MSFLA profile image

      Martina Schramm 5 years ago from Weston, FL

      For a lot of people it may sound like the land line is obsolete, but if you live in a State like Florida you will find out first hand that when a Hurricane strikes your are out of luck with your cell phone . For one thing the reception might be blocked for emergency only or your towers may not work . Then there is also the issue of charging after some time. So for areas like this a land line may really proof helpful .