The pros and cons of going mobile only

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In the Doud household, there is an ongoing debate. Those of us who are mobile technology enthusiasts are trying to trim an extra $50 of fat off of our monthly bills, and those of us who are…well, my wife is adamantly refusing to tell AT&T where it can go shove its landlines. Don’t get me wrong, she has some solid points (which I’m going to call “cons” but I love you, honey – as if you’ll ever read this.) But there are some real pros to the issue as well. So let’s break them down here, M.C. Hammer style.

First of all it should be mentioned that your mileage may vary with all of this. My house is in the suburbs, not exactly underneath a cell tower, but not in a wasteland of coverage either. We get, what I would call adequate coverage in my house, which is to say no dropped calls, until you go into the basement family room. Then, you better not be in an “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” type of situation or you’re pretty screwed.

Of course, this is the first con. You may have dead spots in your house. We certainly do. Obviously, hard lines don’t suffer from this limitation, so there is something to be said for stability and reliability. Worth $600 a year? I’m not so sure.

Excuse me, would you like to *click*....Excuse me, would you *click*...

Excuse me, would you like to *click*….Excuse me, would you *click*…

Spam filter

Have you ever set up an email account dedicated specifically to spam you get from signing up for garbage you don’t want but you’re trying to win a Nexus 5? I have two of them. I use my landline for signing up for stupid junk like Qdoba rewards cards et al. It’s like a spam filter for telemarketers. This makes my argument for killing the line that much more tragic – we hardly ever answer the dang thing. For that reason alone, I has all the sadz.

The other argument is for visitors. We often have child care providers come by when mommy and daddy are bring driven insane want to get out for a bit, so what about them? Well, when you look around, pretty much everyone over the age of 10 has a cell phone. What’s more, they all have smartphones of one kind or another. So there’s a pretty good chance whoever is coming to stave off watch the kids while we try and regain our sanity go out is going to have a phone.

That's great operator, but do you have anything bigger you can send?

That’s great operator, but do you have anything bigger you can send?

What’s your emergency?

But even if not, and you happen to be in the US (where I live) neither a SIM card nor an activated cell phone is necessary for contacting emergency services. I can’t speak for if this works in other countries, but it works here, as our four year old was kind enough to point out one day. Sure the baby sitter can’t call us if my seven year old decides it’s a good idea to put G.I. Joe in the blender, but they can call 911, which I’d rather they do anyway. The good news is, I’m a mobile tech guy, so there is no, nor will there likely ever be a shortage of old cell phones laying around to summon the authorities.

What’s one more line?

Speaking of old phones laying around, that’ll lead us quite nicely into the “Pros” section of our lesson today. AT&T is currently running a deal that I will most likely be switching to that gives you unlimited talk and text and 10GB of data to share for a family. Each phone is $15 assuming you’re off contract/unsubsidized (there are some other limitations I’m not clear on, but the “unsubsidized” part is relevant here). So for an extra $15 (which, last I checked is less than $50) we can have a third line lying around the house. God forbid if the blender incident occurs, we are just a speed dial away after all.

Always in touch

The other nice thing about ditching the landline is you get to carry your “landline” with you all the times. It’s like you’re never out of touch – which granted for some is a pro and a con. But I for one am all about being connected. No one has to wonder where to call me. I haven’t even given out our landline number to anyone who doesn’t share a last name with me. Why would I? Everyone I know knows how to get a hold of me. If I’m in the basement, they text me.

dinner-textingTap-tap-tap

Did I mention texting? Who really talks any more? Maybe you haven’t noticed, but texting is a much more common practice, at least around me. Now truth be told, I think that’s a tragedy. I much prefer speaking with people than typing at them. Heck, if I could, and if it wouldn’t bore you to tears, I’d deliver these editorials to you, spoken word style. But the world is what it is. It’s a vast network of tapping thumbs, and that very much does not fall into the landline paradigm. It strengthens my argument, so I shall embrace it.

What about you loyal readers? Have you told the phone company to go bugger off yet? Why or why not? Are you happy about it, or are you itching to go back? Sound off below and give me some ammunition for my arguments with the boss-lady. Just be gentle – my couch isn’t that comfortable.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs.Read more about Adam Doud!