Are Land Lines Worth It?

by Joshua Michtom

I have not had a land line for about eight years. My children, who are seven and 10, have no concept of a land line. To them, phones go with you. But apparently, if research by the fly-by-night outfit known as the Centers for Disease Control is to be believed, most people still have land lines — not as many as before, but still a majority. The only demographic group in which a majority of people have only cell phones is poor people.

This yields many interesting insights about poor people, but leaves me with a big question about not-poor people: why do they keep their land lines? I realize that land lines aren’t very expensive, and that not-poor people pay for a lot of things they don’t need, but why land lines?

I suppose, theoretically, that land lines are handy in a prolonged power outage, but really, is that how we’re living? Are we keeping our ham radios and pagers and switching over to gas stoves in anticipation of electrical grid failures?

Or is there something else wonderful about land lines that I’m missing? Go ahead, dear readers, sing me their praises.

Photo by the author.