The young men looked at me in awe: “You have a landline!” They went on to explain that it had become a status symbol. I had been signing up at a volunteer expo and mentioned I was providing my landline. I smiled at their response; it used to be that having a cell phone signified wealth. The reason I and all my siblings have retained a landline? Dad says they are better. He should know–as a retired microwave engineer, his field supported the proliferation of wireless technology.
“Anne, are you on your cordless or cell phone?” my Dad would often query when I called. Something about the sound would inform him. He has instilled in all his children that landlines possess superior clarity of sound, greater security and increased safety. When the power goes out, your landline is powered by the telephone cable. Intercepting a wireless signal is easy, and lawful interception of a landline requires extra steps. To explain the sound clarity, I ask you to consider interference from a moving construction crane or a thunderstorm, for example. These can disrupt the electro-magnetic wave moving through the air. Hence, a wireless phone connection results in dropped calls and poor sound quality much more often than a landline does.
Call me old-fashioned, I don’t even use the telephone company’s voicemail; I have an answering machine with the phone. I like the blinking light to tell me I have a message. Also, I like the feel of the phone in my hand.
Ultimately, though, the central reason I still have a landline remains this–my Dad says so.
Have a Productive Day,
Dear Reader, please share your comments and stories that are sparked by this piece. For instance, do you still have a landline; is it for a different reason? Is there some older technology you have hung onto?–please share why. See Contribute for how you can share a story at The Engineers’ Daughter.