About two months ago, I wrote about my decision to get rid of my land line and rely strictly on my cell phone — with its unlimited plan — for my voice needs. It was a mistake. My social network (namely in the form of my mother-in-law) couldn’t take it, so my husband and I capitulated and returned to AT&T for a basic land line with no frills for about $20 a month.
I should note that when we lost the land line, neither my husband nor I really noticed. There was one awkward moment when I had to send a fax and realized I couldn’t unless I went down the street to the grocery store, but other than that, I never missed the cord. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, a wonderful woman who still carries around a copy of the Yellow Pages in her car for when she needs to look up a number or an address, was very uncomfortable with the idea.
Since she regularly comes over to watch our daughter, and never charges her cell-phone battery, I saw her logic. And it got me to thinking about babysitters in general, and the possibility that we may one day hire one who didn’t have a cell phone (hey I suppose it could happen). More likely would be a case of bad reception, but if that coincided with any sort of emergency, they’d essentially be left incommunicado. It just seemed safer and easier to keep a cheap, dedicated land line.
To me it’s an important reminder that technology is essentially about linking us to one another (and being able to carry 10,000 songs in a gadget smaller than a cigarette case). To really make it work, your friends and family have to participate as well. That’s obvious on a social networking site, but less so when it comes to hardware and networking. For when I tried to cut the cord, my family wouldn’t let me
photo from wikiHow