10 things we don’t miss about landlines

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Who needs good old-fashioned simplicity, anyway?


I’ll admit it: Sometimes I get a little nostalgic about the good ol’ days. Back when we knew our friends’ phone numbers by heart and we didn’t have to worry about our landline phone running out of batteries. But that doesn’t mean we want to go back to the pre-smartphone days.

I mean, it wasn’t all sepia-toned home videos and kids talking to each other instead of posting risqué selfies to Instagram. There are plenty of things we don’t miss about the pre-smartphone days, like the fact that we couldn’t instantly Google our friends’ idiotic claims about politicians, or the ability to set multiple, increasingly louder alarms in the morning. 


A really long cord is still a cord. And most of us didn’t have really long cords.

The mystery

Sure, it’s a little creepy when you get a call on your cell and the caller ID is listed as ‘Blocked.’ But remember when you had absolutely no idea who was on the other end until you picked up and heard them breathing through the phone…

Calling a place, not a person

There was nothing more stressful than working up the nerve to call your crush…and then get your crush’s mom on the phone.

The ringer

The shrill, obnoxious ring that blasts through the house. Yes, you could turn it down, but then you’d miss your calls. Or you could take your phone off the hook, but then you’d miss your calls.

Busy signals

Busy signals aren’t the exclusive purview of landlines, but they basically don’t exist on cell phones. Because now we have things like call waiting and straight-to-voicemail.

Outrageous long-distance charges

Because area codes used to actually mean something.


Telemarketers still exist, but they no longer have the power to interrupt a nice family dinner with an obnoxiously loud, insistent home phone ringer.

Being tied to a location

If someone called you at home and you picked up…they knew you were at home. This scene from Scream would have never worked if Drew had had a cell phone.

The only form of instant communication

If someone didn’t pick up their phone, you couldn’t contact them—not instantly, anyway. Now you have at least six backup methods of communication, from texting and tweeting to livestreaming.

Changing numbers

New house = new phone number.


None of us realized how much we actually hated talking on the phone until texting arrived!

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