Are Home Phones Obsolete?

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Remember when phones were referred to as “telephones “? If so, you may find some humor in my recent experience.

Like many families today, every member in ours uses a cell phone exclusively, the only exception being our three year old (and who knows how long that will last???). We gave our landline up years ago and only recently installed one to use in conjunction with our neighborhood gate.

Last weekend I was in our kitchen doing some baking with our three year old with our two teens busy on their cell phones (ironically) when we were alarmed to hear a strange ringing sound. Four sets of eyes turned to our phones in horror, respectively wondering how on earth our ring tones had changed. Our expressions changed from horror to bewilderment as we realized what was happening. That odd thing on the wall resembling a phone was ringing!

Now it became pretty humorous. I watched as my kids slowly approached it, my daughter’s finger extended, ready to run should it attack. Finally I gave in to giggles and shouted “Guys, you have to pick it up and press the button. Then speak!”

After that humorous scene, I began to think about the advantages of having a landline in your home. Firstly, they obviously offer a good history lesson in the archaic time before the iPhone. More importantly, landlines can be used in case of a power outage. The electricity needed for the phone to operate actually comes through the phone lines. Remember however, you need an older phone that plugs directly into (and only into) the phone jack and doesn’t require being plugged in.

This small additional monthly cost can actually pay off if the power is off for an extended period of time and you need to maintain communication with family or emergency services. So, in a real jam (i.e. when your smart phone dies), your good old landline will be there for you.