Royce Shook

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Royce blog
Do you have a landline?

Do you have a landline?

I wonder how many of you still have a landline. I do and I use it a lot. I also have a smartphone, which I use as a phone, a map, a search engine and a social media viewer and I use it for group messages with family. I find it hard to use all of the capabilities of my smartphone, because my fingers do not work well, and I am not used to using my thumbs or whatever the younger generation uses to work their phones. I and my friends still remember waiting to use the landline when others were on the party line. Young people may never understand the torture of waiting your turn to use the one household phone — which had a tangled up spiral cord that stretched halfway into the next room if your call required any privacy.

According to data from the U.S. Census, 84% of households had at least one smartphone in 2018, and as of 2020, over 80% of adults ages 25-34 had opted to go entirely wireless, says the National Center for Health Statistics.

Heading out alongside landlines and rotary phones — remember those? — are the days when you needed to remember all your buddies’ phone numbers.

Now that most of us have cell phones that we use for notes, phone numbers and calendars, the phenomenon of “digital amnesia” has grown. Research by multinational cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab has shown that with a rising reliance on technology, people don’t try to remember these things because they know they have them in the cloud somewhere.

I suspect that landlines may go the way of other extinct technology, but the telephone companies may figure out new ways for us to use the landline as the boomers are still a huge market force. It won’t be long now before the only landline phone you’ll find will be in a museum but it will be a few years before all of us who use the landline give it up. We will not go quietly into the night on this issue.


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