It’s 2018, and i still have a land line.
So, growing up on the east coast where thunderstorms are a real thing, you learn pretty quickly that the phone lines are nearly magical. They run off of their own power and generally tended to continue to operate even in the event of significant disasters. So, having a land line was the techie equivalent of having a safety blanket.
Of course, in those days a disturbing amount of the phone system was still analog and the power was mostly due to banks of lead-acid battery bunkers, so you know, there was that.
40+ years later, things are more than a bit different. If you have a phone, you’re using VOIP. Doesn’t matter if it’s a 1950’s era princess dial-up that still uses cloth wrapped copper lines, once it gets to the central hub, it’s goin’ over the same lines that bring you cat videos and nazi screeds on twitter.
And that was the absurd bit about my “safety blanket”.
Up until a few years ago, i had a deal where my long distance was unlimited and cost $45. A year. This may be the reason that the company is no longer in business. Looking around for a replacement proved a few things, mostly that cell phones are REALLY popular for a reason. i did manage to find a service that provided unlimited long distance for a reasonable price (at least compared to other services), and that service was: Vonage.
Yeah, the “Telephone over the Internet” people.
It worked out fairly well, except for the near constant barrage of spammers that made my phone announce calls from “Sheboygan, WI” or “8058086:4803768” or “V4071151200013107835” (all of which i just pulled off my call history log). Vonage lets me block up to 25 callers, which gets full mighty fast when spoofers can just make up numbers. They don’t offer a way to whitelist numbers, so i’ve had my home number of “Do Not Disturb” 24/7 for about a month now. i’ve even changed my voice mail number to say “Hey, call my cellphone”.
Basically, i’d go from 4 numbers to 2. One cell number i’ve had since 1996, the other a Google Voice number i got when they rolled out the service.
Still, it’s funny how you hang onto some things mostly out of habit, rather than having a really good reason.