Ever love using a landline after being frustrated with call quality?

2 lights and an iPhone
Image by okiave via Flickr

I had to use a landline today because my cell phone is broken. I have used them for so long you get used to cell phone quality. The clarity was surprising and I could understand what the other party was saying without the usual cut out or hiss. Using a landline after using an iPhone is the difference between night and day. How can we be seduced into using a phone with a network that is so poor at making calls?

I had my iPhone stolen some time ago and have used a Samsung phone that has the same problems with call dropping and poor voice quality. I can’t even imagine what kind of nightmare trying to tether would be on a phone. Perhaps this is why AT&T is not offering it.

Of course AT&T corporate says that they are building towers in my neighborhood and that it will be better this fall. It’s surprising because that’s the same thing they said last year when I had the same issues. Verizon and those HTC phones are looking pretty good. I’m looking at the options right now.

What was great about using the line the most? It was that it took me back to the pre-cell phone days where for the most part you could really hear the person you were talking to. Now with cells phones and perhaps culture, we have a hard time listening to someone else. I am convinced that part of the rise of texting has to do with the inability of most people to understand others verbal communication. I also think it’s because the cultural norms are lessened with texting and the informality is more comfortable for younger audiences.

Are cell phones popular mostly because we can play games? That is the #1 application used on them, followed by Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook. Are smartphones like the iPhone popular because of its link to the internet, and music more than its ability to place calls? Should we buy two cell phones, one for our social life and another for real phone use? In Chicago my experience has been that the iPhone is barely useable as a phone for business use. Too many dropped calls, poor voice quality and frustrating depleting battery even on new units. How about the iPhone with a module that allows you to choose your phone provider? Like a plug-in for Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T depending on who gives the best reception in your city? Is that too much to ask?

Saving money is great and I can understand why people would drop their landline. Perhaps this was a mistake. I wish that statics were available that showed the number of deaths caused by cell phone usage compared to land lines. I bet that many people who expect their cell phone to work in an emergency find out that it doesn’t, and possible dangerous consequences to their loved ones. I don’t believe in fear, but I must also admit that the price of a life is way more than the price of a monthly landline bill. Too often I have placed calls on many cell phone networks not just AT&T and it didn’t go through. I often wondered what I would have done if it had been an emergency like I was choking or having a heart attack. Sometimes our sense of security is a false one with a unreliable cell phone.

This isn’t a criticism of any cell phone or network in specific. It is just some thoughts that I had after making a call today on my cell phone. I noticed an erratic and dangerous driver almost cause an accident in traffic today. I pulled over to make the call to 911 to report them and was so grateful that the call worked. Normally it doesn’t in the neighborhood I was in. Other peoples lives are just as important as my own. Why isn’t call quality the most important thing?

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