More People Now Have Mobile Phones than Landlines
I knew this day was coming: the day when my parents sent out a mass text to all the siblings saying that they had gotten rid of their old thyme home phone.
Even my parents no longer saw the point of having two mobile phone and a landline. No matter how big the home phone had been a part of their lives, that era was over.
It looks like the rest of the country is on the same page as my parents too. Quartz Media reports that research data from the CDC shows that for the first time a majority of Americans have made the switch to only using a mobile phone.
The CDC’s data, which was gathered between July and December 2016, shows that 50.8% of households, and 50.5% of adults, are now living without a landline phone.
I think that this change is both inevitable and great. It’s inevitable because a mobile isn’t just a phone, it’s your connected device that is also a phone. The landline is only a phone.
Email and messaging have become as important to the average American as a phone communication. Even the most basic features of a mobile phone: camera, calendar, alarm, help them come out on top. Let’s not forget the portability factor. A landline is in a fixed place with a small range.
The bad part of this change is that I no longer know any phone numbers. My parents had the same phone number for over 30 years. Now, that’s the only phone number that I can remember. Well, I guess I know my own phone number, but only because I’ve had to write it in various forms over the years. And now my browser is taking over remembering that for me, so I’m sure soon I’ll forget it too.
Anytime I need to know the actual numbers to my wife’s or kid’s phones I have to look them up and I defiantly have no clue what my parent’s numbers are. In fact, I may not even have my siblings’ phone numbers, but still have half-a-dozen way to contact them with my phone.
That’s the great part about this change in communication. In my family (parents, siblings, in-laws) we live in three states, separated by hundreds of miles, but we connect and talk more than ever. If someone can’t be at a gathering, they can see pictures and video of the event immediately, or even see a live stream. From three states and and four cities we can have casual joke message threads, just like when we’re all sitting around my parents kitchen table. Grandma and Grandpa have been there on every first day of school for all our kids and shared every holiday regardless of distance. And with one message, each of us can inform all the others of important life events.
Add Angry Birds to all that and the mobile phone beats the landline hands down.
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