For many Americans, cell phones are supplanting the landline

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that nearly three out of 10 American households receive almost all calls by mobile phone. But if the landline is on the wane, University of Virginia professor Siva Vaidhyanathan says a more compelling chapter in telecommunications is just beginning — and our relationship with the phone itself is being redefined.
Guest: Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia


Jim Colgan

Comments [4]

Cy Deavours from Union, New Jersey

Professor Vaidhyanathan might want to brush up a little bit about electromagnetic radiation as she seems somewhat confused. Microwaves, light, etc. are all exactly the same electromagnetic phenomina, differing only in frequency. I think this should be made clearer.

Sep. 30 2010 10:53 AM
Dennis Gurgul

I think I'll take a quiet walk in the park. Oh, can't...cell phone blabber.

OK, I think I'll read my book while the train takes me to the city. Opps, can't, someone yelling on a cell phone.

Well, my doctor tried to explain my condition to me, but I missed half of what he said because of someone standing next to us talking loud on a cell phone.

Cell phones, the cigaretts of the 21st century.

May. 23 2008 09:08 AM

Colleges are even bowing to the cell phone's pervasiveness: when I started college as a freshman you had to pick up your land line and check your college voicemail for important messages from the school. By the time I was a senior (a year ago) the school was using my cell phone number as my primary number (in fact, it was listed on the campus directory without my knowledge or permission) and emergency notices were being spread through text message.

My boyfriend and I have lived for a few years without a land line, and while it does polarize our friends (each of our friends now only calls one of us to make plans) we also pick up each other's phones. And our families have each other's numbers, so if my mother can't reach me she knows to call him. It's not so oppressive a system.

May. 20 2008 09:35 AM

While it gurds me to cough up the $50+ monthly for a land line I seldom use, we keep it because the cell phone has no equivelent of a 'family' number. While useful for logistical calls, replacing a communal (family) phone number with individual numbers lands another blow to the family unit. There is no central repository of messages, no chance conversations with the inlaws (g) or friends (of your spouse), no monitoring who is calling into the lives of teenage daughter and more. When we only talk to others that want to talk us, the insular culture that develops cannot be good for society at large.

May. 20 2008 07:15 AM

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