Tuesday, April 1, 2014
We have four of them. My daughter and son have cell phones you can use the internet with. They live in a city and it's helpful for them to be able to look up directions, check their email, and the like. My wife and I have basic phones that we essentially use for text messages and phone calls. That's it.
If you live way out in the country, and you have to do a lot of driving through sparsely populated countryside, a cell phone is nice to have. Calling a wrecker beats walking 15 miles to the nearest gas station to do so. Everybody knows that in an emergency where the Sheeple are flooding the phone grid with long, rambling conversations a text may get through where a regular call won't. That's nice.
I can also get on the computer and locate any one of us by using the AT&T family map system. That has come in handy a time or two, such as the instance where my son got routed off the freeway by a closed bridge, and was wandering around in "the bad part of town" trying to find another way through the city. I was able to guide him back to where he needed to be by using the computer and the "birds eye view" of Family Map.
There's also the fortunate aspect that if the cell phone in my truck bag isn't ringing, I know no one is having trouble of one kind or other. Between the land line and the cell phone, my family can reach me if they need to, and I can reach them.
If you live in the mountains, you will have terrain masking issues. I do. I can't use my cell phone at home (hence the land line), but if I need to, I can walk out of the main house, go up slope to the apartment, and I get a good clear signal on the porch of the apartment. In most places on the road, as long as you are in the mountains, you may not be able to carry on a moving conversation. However, you can wait till you find a decent spot, and pull over. In the worst case, you can just start going up slope and you'll eventually find a signal. Cell phone communications here have improved significantly over the last ten years with more towers and better technology.
I have been paying AT&T $175.00 a month for four lines. That gives me 750 minutes of talk, with 12 month carry over, and unlimited texting plus internet access for my son and daughter.
Now AT&T has a new plan, $100 a month for four phones, unlimited text and voice, and a hefty allowance of internet time. I switched to that. So I will actually have a better plan for just about half the money. As long as I am leaving the house and going through the mountains, and as long as my family is scattered around, it's a good investment.