Phone Home

My kitchen extension, nested in the countertop electronics. November 2012.

My kitchen extension, nested in the countertop electronics. November 2012.

I'm a member of a growing minority: I still have a home telephone.

This is a source of amusement and amazement for many.

First, let's be clear: Having a landline in addition to a cell phone is an inexpensive lifestyle choice. I can handle the extra $15 a month my landline costs me (which includes unlimited local and long-distance calling). Some people spend $15 in fancy coffee each week.

That said, here's the reason I still have a home phone:

I don't carry my cell phone around like a binky.

In the office, I leave my mobile phone on my desk. Even there, it's set on silent. I'm unlikely to notice a call even if I'm sitting right next to it.

At home, I plug my mobile into a wall and walk away. (And, often, upon arriving, I forget to turn the ringer back on.) I live in a three-story townhouse, so the likelihood that I am near my cell phone when someone calls it is slim.

Call my office number and you might actually catch me in front of my computer. If I'm not, I'll see the flashing message light when I return. And it's always better to call my home number; there's an extension in every room of my house.

The only time you'll catch me on my cell phone is when I'm actually mobile—and who wants to chat then?

I rarely give out my cell number because I don't want to be tethered to a mobile device—and once someone has your mobile number, he feels you should be available anytime he desires to call. The more people with my cell number, the more I'm expected to have the phone in hand. That sounds miserable.

Also, I particularly dislike talking on a mobile phone, which doesn't help the device's case in asking for a greater share of my life. For sheer ergonomics, give me a landline handset any day. Today's smart phones weren't created for ease of conversation. Unless you reach me while I'm out and about (in which case, we'll keep the call short), I'll always ask if I can call you back from a landline.

Any other landline preferrers out there? Why?