Living

Think it through before dropping that landline phone

MCT

I have an admission to make. I still have a landline telephone in my home. I know tends have leaned towards consumers getting rid of landlines and some haven’t had landlines in years. Maybe its nostalgia, but I haven’t gotten rid of it just yet. My husband and I have been contemplating cutting the cord. We don’t use the landline much, it’s another bill and almost everyone contacts us on our cellphones. According to Digital Trends, “over half of Americans have gotten rid of their landline telephones.” I have been mulling the following things over prior to making a final decision and I thought I would share.

Tips for cutting the landline cord

1) Make sure it’s cost effective. I have a bundle package (internet, telephone and cable), so I have to negotiate with my carrier to ax the landline as part of my agreement. Also, if you use a landline for internet service this could pose a challenge. If cost is a factor, consider that you may also have to increase your minutes on your cellphone package to accommodate the switch.

2) Make sure you change the telephone number with important people. I am certain my life insurance, health insurance providers and primary physicians have my home number listed as my point of contact. I also know that my 90-year-old aunt Alma in Mississippi has this number despite numerous attempts to provide my cell number.

3) 911 or emergency calls could create a problem. Calling 911 form a landline instantly provides the operator with your address. Calling 911 form a cellphone will provide a geographical area (based on cell towers) but not the full address. As you can imagine, seconds can mean a lot in emergency cases. In that same vain you have to have a charged phone to initiate an emergency call. I often forget to charge my cellphone until the end of the day. This would be catastrophic should I have to call 911.

4) Get ready for dropped calls. I love to sit on the back porch however; I cannot sit on the back porch and talk on my cellphone. I am sure to drop the call. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten to the meat of the story if you will and then poof — dropped call. Almost everyone I know has some sort of dead spot in their home.

5) Consider sound and quality. My landline sounds much better than my cellphone. Sometimes I have to ask callers on my cell to repeat things. Similarly if there is any background noise the entire call sounds like a bad concert.

6) The last thing to consider is lifestyle. The majority of people that have landline telephones are seniors. So if you are a multigenerational family you may want to keep the landline if Granny uses that as her primary phone. Similarly, if you have young ones in the household it may be easier to teach them to call 911 on a landline telephone.

At the end of the day make the best decision to keep you and your family safe and happy.

Contact Macon-Bibb County Cooperative Extension agent Keishon J. Thomas at 478-751-6338 or thomaskj@uga.edu.

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