About 2 1/2 years ago, we got rid of our landline telephone and went completely wireless. What a great decision for us! We were paying about $40/month for regular phone service along with $50 for two cell phones. We could have saved the full $40, but we decided to get a cell phone for each child. The phones cost very little when we signed up for service and each extra line on our account is another $10/month.
There are advantages beyond the financial, though. When the kids go somewhere in town without me, I have them take their phone. I feel much better knowing that they can call me in an emergency. Of course, the down side is that I sometimes get called for some definite NON-emergencies! Mr. Math Tutor and I like the feeling of having a phone with us, especially when driving in sub-zero weather. Mr. Math Tutor also likes being able to call me from the grocery store to clarify an item on the list. Cell phone companies can also put detailed call information on the bills so that parents can know who their kids call and text.
I have never been a big fan of text-messaging, but I have decided that it has some uses. One of the biggest advantages is that I can send a message to Mr. Math Tutor while he is in a meeting or in another place where I don't want to interrupt him. He can choose to check the message immediately or later, but checking the message doesn't require that he dial his voice mail and is much faster. The kids are not allowed to text message without explicit permission. That's a habit I don't want them to get into!
When Mr. Math Tutor gets a new phone, he is going to get a phone that will keep his schedule for him. He is planning to sync the phone with Outlook so that he can keep his schedule updated when he's at home and away from home. (Of course, I get the old Palm, but I'll try hard not to complain - it's hard having two techno-geeks in the same family.) Along those same lines, Mr. Math Tutor and I have both gotten rid of our alarm clocks and use our cell phones instead.
Since we don't have a regular "family" phone, my cell number gets listed as the family phone number. I have voice mail so that people can leave a message if I'm not in a place where I can answer the call. Otherwise, I can answer calls even if I'm not at home. This is clearly something that works well for our family.
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