I am seriously thinking about getting rid of my old-school, landline telephone. Yes, I still have one, though I rarely get any meaningful calls at that phone number. In fact, I would not be exaggerating too much by saying that the vast majority of calls made to that number fall into one of two categories. The first is the unsolicited sales or fund raising calls. You know the ones where as soon as you utter the tradition greeting, “hello” the person, or more often than not, the computerized voice on the other end of the line begins their long spiel without regard to whether you have any interest in the product, service, or charity they are pushing. The second, and by far the most dominant during election season, the political robocall script or poll. Because cell phone numbers are less readily accessible, I am left to wonder if telephone polls are even worth conducting given the fact that over 40% of young voters live in households without “wired” phone service. So I am sure the results obtained are less than reflective of the total population.
I also have a cell phone that can do everything my landline phone can do and more. I have had it for just over ten years now and have only given that number out to people or businesses I want to be able to keep in touch with. Except for the occasional misdial, I only receive calls that I want to receive. When it is my land line ringing, I always check the caller ID feature before I decide whether or not to take the call. The people or firms behind the unsolicited cals have become savvy to the ID feature and now disguise their source and are identified as “cell phone Maine” or the more revealing “unknown name unknown number”. Still I am left largely uninterested and let it roll over to the answering machine. The fact that they often don’t leave any message at all is telling that they also know that I am not likely to return their call. They realize that they have to depend on the element of surprise to get their message across.
Being part of the Baby Boomer era, I still have friends and especially older relatives that do not have cell phones or feel more comfortable talking on a “real telephone”. My husband, who is just a few years older than I, has never owned a cell phone and has no interest in getting one. For that reason I am hesitant to “cut the cord” with my land line in case I need to get in touch with him when he is at home and I am on the road. So for now I will keep the old school phone and continue to take iberal advantge of it’s caller ID function.