I can still remember my first phone number. My mother, in fact, has had the same phone number for more than 40 years. So the idea of a landline is as much a part of me as my crankiness or my passion for baseball.
But yesterday I called AT&T and discontinued my landline service. The reasons are many, including a decade of dealing with what AT&T calls customer service and the rest of us call phone company hell. The main reason, though, is that my landline had become irrelevant. I was paying AT&T for phone service that I didn’t use, and where the only calls I got were from surveys, telemarketers ignoring the FTC’s Do Not Call list, and political candidates.
The irony? I was dragged kicking and screaming into the cell phone age, and now the only phone I have is my cell. And then there is this: A 2009 study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that one-quarter of U.S. households don’t have landlines, and that 15 percent of us who have landlines use cell phones for most of our calling. Eighteen months later, those numbers are almost certainly higher. How much longer until the only landlines left are those used by businesses?