So what did we really do before cellphones?
Well it’s hard for ages 20 and younger because they were born around 1995. However these blocky Nokias and black-and-white Motorola’s coexisted with our household phones.
My generation was probably the last to learn “house phone etiquette.” When the phone rang, I sprinted to the phone, prepping myself for the script I was about to recite:
“Goudarzi residence, this is Tala. May I ask who is calling?”
Then if my 8-year-old self didn’t know my homework, and it was before 9 pm, I had to call my friend’s house (I still remember the phone number) and say:
“Hi Mrs. (insert standard last name here). This is Tala. Is (insert standard friend name here) around?”
Sometimes, by some amazing trick of fate, my friend would answer the phone and I wouldn’t have to talk to her mom….or worse dad.
I have never had to watch my sister go through the anxiety-filled process. She only has to send her friend a text on her cell phone she received when she was old enough to speak (not middle school like my generation) and gets her homework question answered accompanied by a dancing girl emoji.
So where have these house phones gone? I mean we basically don’t use them anymore. We aren’t the only ones to notice this trend either.
Verizon has taken the lead in replacing phone lines with wireless options. They aren’t replacing land lines and have begun to take the copper-wire out of the ground that have been there since 1877.
The number of phone lines in the United States hit its all-time high in 2000 with 186 million landlines. However, since 2000, more than 100 million landlines have been taken away (according to a U.S. Telecom statistic).
Verizon isn’t the only one ripping out copper-wire landlines. AT&T seeks to take out their copper-wires by the end of this the decade.
And there ya have it folks….we have successfully lived, loved, and now witnessed the end of the house phone culture as we know it.
I mean, I’m kind of sad because this technological transition is just taking away another vocal communication device. Sure, we still have cellphones, but these cellphones are smartphones. These smartphones allow us to make doctor appointments, restaurant reservations, and text our friends. There really is no need to call anyone anymore, and thus the skill is quickly receding before our eyes….starting with the disappearance of landlines.
Who will be affected by this transition? Old people that haven’t adapted to cellphones yet. Old Mr. Eustace Jones turns off his Razor Flip phone (2005) at night and leaves it to his landline for any emergency contact.
Also citizens that live in rural areas that don’t have cell-phone coverage, or have poor coverage, will be affected. They simply won’t have a way to communicate, will have to move, or will have to pay for cell-phone coverage that slightly touches their areas.
How do you all feel about this telephone transition? Do you think the disappearance of landlines is a good thing? Do you have any special part in your heart for household phones like I do?