As I will be moving to a new place, I decided to look at some of the bundles/packages that are offered by various phone service providers. Most of the services include cable TV, high-speed Internet (yummy), and phone. However, some companies only offer land lines rather than wireless phone services. The rates are quite comparable. In fact, land lines are often a better deal with reasonable international call charges. Then again, it’s not exactly or realistically the same as you can’t bring your land line outside of the house! Literally, that is. I wonder, is it better to go wired (land line) or wireless (cellphone)?
Last year, my parents decided to disconnect the land line service at home (Telekom Malaysia). It was neither due to painful, blood sucking telephone bills every month nor was it poor line connection quality. Simply, it was because no one uses the phone at all! Mum and dad are always in the office. My sister, who was then still studying in secondary school, did use it to yak with friends (under watchful eye, of course). Even so, my parents just didn’t see a point in keeping it. Instead, my dad decided that it should wireless all the way. Is this an obvious change in user-technology-trends? Is the culture such that the younger generation is so in-tuned with cellphones that wireless is the more popular option? That you can bring it wherever you go, and it acts like a cordless phone when you are at home?
It’s really interesting. Now that I have to make a decision for my future home, I can’t say that this culture can be applied here in Canada. In university, majority of the students who own cellphones are just contented with the fact that they have a wireless phone. It doesn’t have to be fancy, sleek, or the latest model. As long as it has a decent phone plan, it’s good to go. There are some students who do flash their fancy phones and upbeat ringtones. However, these girls/guys are mostly Asian students! I used to live in a four-bedroom apartment with two Canadian girls, and they love to talk on the phone. Not wireless, though. They chose to talk on the home phone, and they can spend hours on it. One of the girls had had her phone line canceled by her mother because the bills were painfully displaying three-numbers after the $ sign (dollars, of course). Also, no one uses SMS (text messaging) here. Back home, SMS was, and (actually) still is the coolest way of communication. I find this difference in culture very amusing because Canada is a first-world country and it is surprising that even some of them don’t like to use a cellphone. Did they get bored of it when it first started? Or did they even get exposed to it?
No doubt, there are benefits to a wireless line but can it surpass the necessity of installing a land line for emergency services? Dial 911 from your land line, and you don’t even need to spell out your address. However, from a cell phone the emergency unit cannot locate you in times of trouble. At least, technology has not advanced so far yet. Considering the fact that I will be living alone, and there have been past break-ins into the apartment building, should I just pay more for a land line and go prepaid on the wireless service? Yes, I think I might just do that. However, something about my origins and culture still drives me insane because I still itch for that latest phone model, that awesome ringtone, and the excitement of SMS.