The old fashioned landline phone
Call me old-fashioned, but I think families – especially with kids – should have a landline phone. That’s what we had when I was a kid, and the ringing of the phone got everyone’s attention. I’m not calling for landline phones because that’s the way I was raised. I’m calling for them because kids need a phone where their friends can reach them, and it should not be a cell phone. To need to go through the phone of a parent is a hassle, especially if mom or dad is gone and a friend wants to give you a call.
Granted, with our landline phone, we didn’t know who was calling because Caller ID was not a thing. Someone had to the answer the phone because there were no answering machines, either. When the phone rang, a mystery was there.
Who is calling? Who do they want to talk to? What do they want?
One of the best parts of the ring of a phone meant there was a mystery. Once the phone was answered, the mystery was solved. That’s because the phone rang loud and clear for everyone to hear. No silent call; no vibration. It rang through the entire house. If you were upstairs in the shower, you turned the water off and high-tailed it downstairs because somebody was calling. It might be important. It might be urgent. Or it might just be the neighbor calling to ask if your current was off, too. The mystery was only solved when someone answered the phone.
Safety in a landline phone
Classmates couldn’t call you without an adult finding out. An adult always answered the phone, and the child had to ask the adult to please let him speak to so-and-so. Therefore the adult knew who you were talking to. They also knew how long you talked, because the phone cord only stretched across the room, which was usually the room with the most activity. In addition, they could get bits and pieces of your conversation.
A guy wanted to ask you out? He had to call your house. Imagine that! Whoever answered the phone knew who was calling and to whom he wanted to speak. Whoever usually was able to get the gist of the conversation by hanging around and listening.
There was safety in taking a phone call in the middle of the room while everyone heard your end of the conversation. There was protection because there were no secrets.
The clamor for a phone
One reason kids clamor for their own phone is because the only way a friend can reach them is through a parents’ phone. Sometimes the parent is at work or in town and the person must wait until a message can be relayed. If there’s a landline, your kids’ friends can call them at home, so there’s no need of having a personal phone in the home.
You might think your kid needs a phone for the times he is away from home and might need to contact him. Get him one without Internet. At the end of the day, put the phone away and use the landline. Your friends will figure out that calling the house instead of a cell phone gets a response.
A landline improves family time
Imagine how family times could improve if the only calls coming in had to come in through a landline once everyone was home for the day. Imagine how much less secrecy there would be in families, and how much less independence if communication had to be through a landline phone in your house instead of through a cell phone.
Go ahead – have your cell phone for personal use when you’re away from the house. How about putting it away in the evenings when you’re unwinding from a work-day or a busy day at home? How about trying this for a month – and see what happens?