We are moving closer to a society free of landlines. Is this a good thing? In my humble opinion, no, it is not. I live on an island with two choices of mobile phone servers. When I travel, I sometimes have a prepaid cell phone for the US, but it isn’t as easy to obtain such a service in Canada. Instead, I opt for a travel plan on my Cayman cell phone. I intend to get a prepaid sim card the next time I’m in Canada, but my visits are usually very quick and full of activities and visiting.
The problem with using my Cayman cell phone in Canada, even if I have an international plan, is that it costs for people to call me. It costs me about 3 or 4 dollars per minute to call a Canadian number! That means that even calling a cab or calling my mother- in-law to ask if we can come over can use up all my phone credit! I’ve tried to set up an international plan that includes 100 minutes, but so far I’m still being charged for calls and I’m watching my phone credit drop in half every time I attempt a phone call.
I was recently a guest at the second landline-free home on this trip. That’s not a problem in Victoria, where I can text the only people I know. In some places it’s a problem. My in-laws don’t text. I can’t book a taxi with a text message. My prepaid US phone with almost $100 in credit doesn’t work in Canada.
I think fondly of my landline in Canada, back when I lived there about 8 months ago. Long distance calls were so inexpensive that I thought nothing of calling my husband when he was in the Cayman Islands, or calling my children in Victoria or my parents in Saskatoon. Now I’m told that there is no point in having a landline. No point? Tell me that again when you can’t call your family without making a phone top up every few days, or they can’t call you for some inexplicable reason involving your postpaid mobile phone account.
Having said all that, even when I stayed with my parents, who have a landline, I made all my plans using email and text messages. I guess we can adapt to anything.