Have you dumped your landline yet?

With mobile phone usage expanding, is it only a matter of time before landlines become a thing of the past for most people?

It's hard to believe that 10 years ago a cell phone was still a novelty. Now it's nearly impossible to imagine life without mobile communication.

As new modes of communication open up, will others go by the wayside? There may be a generational divide opening here, as younger adults in particular start asking themselves what good is a landline anyway? About a quarter of adults age 18 to 29 rely on a mobile phone as their only telephone service.

I am tempted to dump my landline, not because I have an amazing relationship with my mobile phone, but because telemarketers have turned my ringing landline into an incredible nuisance. An admittedly unscientific study of my caller ID log reveals that I've been getting four junk calls for every call I actually want to receive.

I am finally learning that I don't have to drop what I am doing to answer the phone, and I've gotten good at the quick hang-up. My problem now is that I am in phone-avoidance mode, and I am unmotivated to even listen to my messages, knowing that many of them will be robo-telemarketers.

And yes, our number is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, but between the nonprofit solicitations and political fund-raising calls, we hear from plenty of people. I think our home number was once listed on a business registration that must have been ported widely through the Freedom of Information Act, because we get plenty of business-to-business solicitations as well. The detailed rules of which calls are covered under the Do Not Call Registry are so convoluted that it would take a team of lawyers to extract them from the FTC's Facts for Business explanation. Enforcement of the rules is another issue altogether. How many of us have the time to file a complaint every time we get a call that breaks the rules?

In any case, the only reason to keep the land line at this point is to make sure that all these annoyance calls have a dumping ground other than my mobile phone. When that phone rings, at least I can be sure it's someone I really want to talk to.

If you've gone completely wireless, leave me a comment explaining why. Did you ever have a landline (other than your parents'), or have you always relied on a mobile phone?

 

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