Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Dude, I'm Talking to You Wireless!

Blogger Ryan Harne noted recently that the combination of the words "dial" and "up" in the same phrase (at least when referring to the Internet) is becoming an endangered species. A story in today's DMN seems to predict that the words "land" and "line" may someday be just as rare of a combination when discussing the telephone.

According to the story, not only has the number of cellular customers outpaced that of land-liners nationwide, but a lot of people are giving up their land lines altogether:
It's been a steady increase since Southwestern Bell and other providers began offering the first cellular service in Texas nearly 21 years ago. As recently as Dec. 31, 1999, the number of Texas local phone lines still far exceeded wireless, 13.2 million to 5.8 million.

But wireless surpassed wired in the second half of 2004, both in Texas and the U.S. In Texas, wireless users reached 13.1 million, while land lines dropped to 12.1 million. Nationally, wireless jumped ahead to 181.1 million users, compared with 177.9 million land lines.
The driving force behind this is the younger customers now entering the workforce; they've grown up with wireless, and they hav
e learned to live with the occasional static and dropped calls that happen on cell phones. But customers of all ages have learned to appreciate the price and convenience of wireless:
Sandy de Vries, 45, a hand physical therapist at a Dallas hospital, hasn't had a traditional telephone line for about six years. One day, she realized she was paying about $75 to $80 a month for a home phone, the same as she was paying for cellular service. She gave up the land line.

"It's made to me more available to people," she said. "They can get me anywhere. It's also nice that I don't have sales people calling me at night when I get home."
To that last part, I say "hear, hear!" I haven't done it yet, but I could totally see giving up my land line at some point. As it is, I've pretty much ceded it to people I don't want to talk to, such as telemarketers. I don't have caller ID on it (because I can't get it for free), so I monitor any incoming call that I happen to hear before I pick up. My only real purpose for having it is to have a place for prospective students to leave their info, so it won't interrupt my lessons as much as it would if they called my cell.

Several of the people in the DMN story noted that they gave up their land lines by attrition-- they moved and just didn't get one hooked up in their new place. Seeing as how I'm only (almost) four years into my ownership of Casa de Kev, I'm not anticipating moving anytime soon, but I wonder if I'll be cell-only a decade from now for other reasons.

So what would it take for you to give up your land line? What are the pros and cons of doing so? Please chime in using the comments.

Oh, and bonus points go to anyone who knows the movie from which the title of today's post is paraphrased.

From the "duhh" department: In Italy, studies have shown that men don't mind seeing naked women on the beach. (via Dave Barry's Blog)


Jazzy G said...

So what would it take for you to give up your land line?
It's darn ironic that you mention this because I only use the land line to call a few cellularless people whose older house phones make it hard for me to hear them. I went to call someone today using the house phone and got a recorded message from Verizon about the number being out of service. I called other people, including my cell, and got the same message. Conclusion? Our home phone service is broken (we can still receive calls, just not call out to most numbers). Weird thing? Verizon is not our phone company. Their service area stops just north of us. Even weirder thing? The Tomato, which is in Verizon service territory, has been out of phone service for a week. I'm wondering if there is some giant, interconnected problem or if we're being transfered to a different carrier without notification. At any rate we'll find out tomorrow, as by the time it was discovered it was a land line problem, our local carrier didn't have humans manning their customer service phones anymore.

Women were more frequently bothered by nude sunbathing than men.
Gee, that's a real suprise there too. You know darn well it's because most of us are so worried about how everyone else looks compared to ourselves. Personally, I could care less but then again you won't find me on a nude beach in Italy anytime soon.

Eric Grubbs said...

So what would it take for you to give up your land line?

A lot. Here's why:

Because it is more stable and sounds better, I use my land line to conduct phone interviews. Cell phone reception is tinny and you miss a lot. When I'm quoting someone, I want to hear what he/she is saying as clearly as possible. I can't risk that kind of stuff via a cell phone.

When I need to make a routine local call (like making a dentist appointment or calling my aunt in Carrollton), I use my land line. Even though I barely use my daytime cell phone minutes every month, my anxiety tells me to stay off the cell phone during the day.

Gary P. said...

Personally, I could care less but then again you won't find me on a nude beach in Italy anytime soon.

Damn..... Note to self: Call travel agent and cancel that trip to Italy to stalk G.

As for giving up the land line, just about the only reason we keep it is to call my parents and be able to get the kids on the phone with us instead of passing a single mobile from ear to ear.

Jazzy G said...

Damn..... Note to self: Call travel agent and cancel that trip to Italy to stalk G.

Can't.. breathe.. laughing.. too.. hard..
You guys are so much fun. That right there is the highlight of my day. To use a phrase popular among teenagers.. Gary, you win at life.