December 5, 2022

The Domestikated Life

One Passion

What Happened To Home Phones?


Remember when caller ID was new and *67 could help you cover your phone call tracks? If you do, then it’s likely you also remember when landlines were a necessity for every household. These days, you can walk into any living room, scan the countertops, and you probably won’t see a home phone anywhere in sight. If you do, it’s probably collecting dust in an out-of-the-way storage box in somewhere obscure corner. That’s because wireless phones now rule the communication roost while home phones have been put out to pasture — well, mostly.

The State of Phone Communication

While the majority of homes in the U.S. use wireless phones, some hold fast and true to their landlines. According to preliminary data released by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, up to 62.5 percent of adults lived in a wireless-phone household in the first six months of 2020.  While part of that relates to the pandemic, this has been a rising trend since the early 2000s.

Still, there seems to be some life left for home phones. One report found that older people are more likely to hang on to landlines instead of using cell phones and other wireless devices. So, are home phones becoming a relic of past times instead of an everyday necessity?

Why Wireless Phones Rule The Land

Diving a little deeper into why wireless phones have taken over landlines, there are multiple reasons. Cell phones and other wireless devices have distinct advantages.

Mobility

Wireless phones are mobile, easy to slip into your pocket or bag for on-the-go communication. Whenever you are, it’s much easier to make or return a phone call. With a landline, you would have to wait to get home, check your messages and then hope you’d have enough time left in the day to make the necessary calls.

Versatility

Wireless phones do much more than let you make and receive calls. You can check your email, pay a bill, play music, watch movies, etc. These mini-traveling computers allow you to do almost anything a person would need to do to manage their lives. Home phones have limits where wireless phones do not.

Sustainability

When home phones were dominant, there was a lot more paper being used. People had to notate documents based on landline phone calls or wait to receive important paperwork after a call. Wireless phones allow you to receive electronic receipts and documents. Wireless phones also help spare precious metals like copper, an element widely used to thread phone lines across the country when landlines ruled the world.

The Next Phase of Phones

Based on where wireless phones are going, the odds are high that these devices will only become more sophisticated. You’ll probably still see home phones, but the next destination might be a museum.