GIMME SHELTER- Land line or cell? Decision is a close call

Jamie Yowell
Q: I hear a lot of people are getting rid of of their home phones and just using their cell phones. I'm considering it, but still wonder if it's a good idea.

A: Yes, a lot of people are choosing to abandon their home phone lines, or at least they say they are. Since there are still clear benefits to having both, there's no need to make an either/or decision. For example, your home phone will ring in every room of your house, whereas you have to find your cell phone to answer it. And what if the power goes out and you can't recharge your cell phone? Also, cell phones often don't work in certain rooms of a house or in certain areas of your property. For many people, having both a home phone and a cell phone gives them a sense of security in case something happens with one or the other. As good as cell phones have become, they're still wireless.

In many ways it's a generational thing. For example, it's hard to imagine the younger generation having home phones, because they're so used to having one mobile number. In addition, young people are taking advantage of all the technological bells and whistles that come with cell phones– cameras, text messaging, song recording, e-mail, and Internet connections. 

As the technology of cell phones improves, and as people become more comfortable using them, they may begin to eclipse the home phone line. For the time being, however, home phones are still a vital connection to the outside world, providing faster Internet connections and a sense of security for those who don't completely trust their cells.

Basically, you need to consider how you operate. Are you a single person living alone who could do without a home phone? Are you a business person who wants to be reached at one convenient number? Do you have a family who fights over the home phone line? Maybe you need to get cell phones for your kids and keep the home phone for yourself. Are you tired of paying for your home phone line when you never use it? Would you really feel secure not having a home phone line? 

Jamie Yowell




Cell phones all the way for us. We dropped our landline almost two years ago and haven't regretted it once. With no listing, telemarketers are non-existent (the Do Not Call list is only so good - we don't even get calls from charities or politicians). Telephonic internet is for the birds - we went with a cable modem long ago.

In fact, this is funny but the one problem we've had by not having a land line is having to explain to Alltel EVERY TIME WE CALL that our cell phone is our home #. You think they'd be darn grateful, but it confuses the hell out of them. Go figure.

I happily live with just my cell phone, my three grown children the same.
My mother at 80 and my dad at 88 with alzheimers live in the Key West Subdivision and only have a land line provided by EMBARQ.
For 5 days they & approx 120 homes, according to EMBARQ this morning have been without service.
EMBARQ promised repair by 7pm last sat night, claimed service was restored as of last night.
Today still no service, no answers, no promise when service will be restored & no explanation why service has been out. Maybe it is time to leave severed lines severed. Cell service may drop a call but almost anywhere, anytime it has service, amazing.

Cell is the slight winner in my mind, but landline still has pros to it. The part about the landphone ringing in every room is important. It is quite annoying especially when you call someone else and they never answer their phone when they're at home because they're always too far away from it. They take it off as soon as they step in the door and either can't hear it from its cozy at the front door or they drop it a different place every time they come home and can't find it. And if they've forgotten they've left it on vibrate or silent, forget it they're not picking up.

There needs to be a machine at home where you put your cell phone in it to charge, and it makes ringers go off around the house when someone calls.

Another disadvantage to cell phones is that stupid contract. Yes, I'm young and onthego, which means that every time I move to a new place I either have to break a contract or annoy everyone in the new place by having a long-distance phone. My next-door neighbors have to dial long-distance to call me! At least with landlines you can cancel it when you move.

Another cell phone problem is that people know when you're ignoring their calls. With a landline you can just say "I wasn't home!" Sometimes I just want to be left alone, but I can't be with the cell ringing all the time. It's like Pavlov's dog, I hear it and I pick up without thinking.

Plus, why is it that when I have to turn my cell phone off in the movies or theatre, it has to beep more every button I push to turn it off? Why can't there be just one button to silence? And when the heck are people gonna realize that vibrate is still heard? Don't just turn off the ringer, turn off the whole thing. I can hear the vibrating phone a whole section away from you.

Wow, I was mad! I'm sorry..