5 Ways Landlines Were Better than Today's Modern Smartphones

Article by George Norman (Cybersecurity Editor)

on 25 Mar 2016

Remember the landline (or even rotary) phones of old? If you’re as young as the kids in the video below, you probably don’t.

I for one perfectly remember the landline phones of old. And I actually miss them! Why? Because in some ways, they were better than today’s modern smartphones.

1. You knew phone numbers by heart

Think fast! How many phone numbers do you know by heart? You know your own number, you probably know your mom’s, and… and that’s it.

Your smartphone is ruining your mind and it’s giving you digital amnesia, as security company Kaspersky Lab calls it. You’re less likely to commit information to memory when you can easily access that information with your smartphone. Why remember things yourself, when you can use your smartphone?

I for one, know just one phone number by heart: my own. In case of an emergency, I wouldn’t be able to call anyone!

2. You didn’t have to recharge it every night

Every smartphone I had lasted no more than a day, and even less than that if I would use it intensely. Poor battery life is one of the worst things about smartphones. I hate that I have to recharge my phone every night and that I have to walk around with an external battery in my pocket, just in case. Guess I could get a battery case instead, but that’s hardly any better.

Hard-wired landlines had “unlimited battery”, meaning you never had to charge them. Cordless phones did have to be charged though, but that wasn’t a problem if you just remembered to put it back on its charger after using it.

3. You actually socialized with others

How many times have you seen this? A group of friends sitting at a table in a restaurant or a bar, and they’re all on their phones.

They aren’t talking to each other, they aren’t socializing, they’re on their damn phones. What’s worse, some of them are on Facebook or Twitter or some other social network. Just put the phone down and socialize in real life!

4. No stress and no “phantom vibrations”

As long as you have your smartphone with you, anyone can get in touch with you – via text, IM, mail, social networking, and even the classic call.

Because you have a smartphone, the world expects to be able to get in touch with you, no matter where you are, no matter what time it is. That’s stressing you out and it’s why you’re experiencing “phantom vibrations” – you know, when you think you felt your phone vibrating, but the phone didn’t actually vibrate.

5. You could lose your tempter and slam the phone

If someone annoyed or made you angry while taking on a landline, you could slam the phone down and it would give you so much satisfaction. Those things were tough and could take the punishment. And even if you somehow managed to break the phone, it wasn't a big deal since getting a new landline cost next to nothing.

Try doing that with your smartphone. You’ll end up cracking the screen (or worse) and spending a ton of money to repair it (or get a new one). And speaking about money, how many times did you upgrade your landline? With smartphones, you have to get an expensive new one every year.

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