By Christopher Wong, Chief Editor
Hold the phone. Today, March 10, is National Landline Telephone Day.
The holiday celebrates the invention of the landline telephone, which was successfully tested for the first time today in 1876. Exactly 141 years ago, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Bell transmitted the first call in Bell’s home, “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.”
Since the telephone’s invention however, the landline telephone has since lost much of its popularity. Cell phones have taken over much of day-to-day life and many have discarded their landline phones in favor of cell phones. Doing so makes sense, though. Landline phones are confined to the building they are installed in, while cell phones can go wherever the owner pleases. Cell phones are a necessity when away from the house to receive important messages, so why pay extra for a phone that is confined to a residence? According to a 2015 CDC study, 47.4% of households only use a cell phone.
Cell phones bring about a number of benefits. One is the ability to have conversations without a single spoken word. Texting has surpassed phone calls as the most popular form of communication in many developed countries. However, despite texting’s benefits, the importance of a phone call cannot be ignored. It is impossible to interpret tone of voice through texting, making it difficult to distinguish serious statements and sarcastic comments. Texting can also tend to be rather impersonal. When talking to someone through voice, more attention is required of the conversation as opposed to sending short messages in between doing other tasks.
Even if you do not own a landline phone, take the time to make a phone call once in a while. Perhaps call relatives on a landline telling them about this little-known holiday.