Is the home phone obsolete? I think not.


It's summer of 1995. We just got our new AT&T cordless phone.

My sister Anna is on a long distance call with her boyfriend; a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh.

I pick up the phone and interrupt them abruptly saying:

"You've been talking for over an hour. My turn!"

She reluctantly says goodbye and I start connecting to AOL (internet).

"Pshhhkkkkkkrrrrkakingkakingkakingtshchchchschchchch cch*ding*ding*dings"

Time flies by quickly as I browse the World Wide Web and chat with my friends on AIM (instant messenger). My time is cut short by dad saying:

"Get off AOL, I'm expecting a call from grandma."

That Christmas I wrote a letter to Santa asking for my own phone line.

My wish didn't come true. But fast forward 25 years and now everyone has their own phone line. The home phone is alone and forsaken. A relic of our youth. Replaced by cell phones, texting, and Facebook.

Nevertheless we still hear it ring. Grandma calls when she can't figure out Skype. The school leaves voicemails that get conveniently forwarded to our cell phones. We call the kids on our way home from work. They can also use it to dial 911 in an emergency.

The home phone is no longer our only connection to the world. Yet it remains an invaluable part of our lives.