Reports say less than half of U.S. households are equipped with landlines. I remember when a landline was the best thing that ever happened to me. Do you still have one? What do you use it for?
Getting my own landline for AOL connectivity in 10th grade was the ultimate teenage triumph. Only the cool kids and the early internet obsessives had their own line (guess which I was). My need to be on the growing worldwide web meant our house phone was almost always busy.
The straw that broke my poor mother's back was when I sabotaged her telephone, which lit up to indicate when it was in-use. I took an awl and a hammer to the tiny blinking light that let her know I was still online at 2am (maybe she wouldn't notice? I was 16). I was grounded without access for a long while. But for my birthday that year, the dream came true, and I received a landline for calling up the internet. I haven't slept since.
Landline usage has been dropping off for years with the rise of mobile, but we seem to be approaching its death-rattle. A casual survey of Gizmodo staffers revealed that none of us use the ubiquitous wall-socket — nor do many of our parents. At my mom's house the old phone with the broken light remains plugged in, but no one calls it except telemarketers.
Do you still have a landline? Do you know someone who does? Do you use it for placing and receiving telephone calls, or for displaying anachronistic tech to curious children?