Friday, June 8, 2018

Over Half of American Households Rely Solely on Cell Phone Communication

Image result for landline phones being phased out

New technology is the way of the future. While some consumers choose to stick with old-fashioned versions of modernized innovations, the vast majority opt instead to implement the advancements as soon as they become available. One such technological innovation is the mobile telephone. Where people once had to use a payphone to make contact while outside of their home and office, remote communication has become a staple in pretty much every American's life. To that end, according to Tracey Lien's L.A. Times article, over half of the households in America have completely phased out landline telephones.

Landlines were once a valuable necessity in the home, and to this day still have a few benefits. However, they also have significant drawbacks, especially as technology becomes more interconnected in this day and age. In 2006, a survey was conducted that concluded that only about 16% of American households didn't have a landline connection. Since the advent of smartphones and other such devices, that statistic has climbed to 54% in the most recent survey. That number has continued to climb each year. In fact, some European countries have over 80% of households relying solely on wireless phone connectivity, so it is very likely that one day, it could reach 100% in most areas of the world.

Millennials especially have been the ones to push the cord-cutting trend. It's an economic choice. Basically, if they already have a cell phone line that they pay for each month, why would they make a second payment each month to have a phone line that isn't even accessible on the go? The logic isn't completely perfect, as landlines are very beneficial in emergency situations or during power outages. However, if it comes to hundreds of dollars per year in extra cost, many consumers opt to save money, even with the minimal cost to their peace of mind.

New renters or homeowners are choosing to cut costs wherever they can, whether by using video streaming platforms instead of cable or by cutting out the landline phone option. Landlines are more often targeted by telemarketers, and consumers (especially those of the younger demographics) tend to send messages more than speak on the phone anyway, so a landline becomes pretty much useless except in an emergency. 10 years ago, not having a landline was risky. Today, it still has a bit of inherent risk, but with the way technology has been advancing, the risk decreases exponentially each year. It is likely that landlines may one day be gone from homes completely, only present in places of business or governmental institutions.

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