Plugged in, but disconnected |

Plugged in, but disconnected


Richard Carnes

It was time to cut the cord.

Every family must go through the motions, some sooner than others, but we all do, or will, eventually.

Utilizing my traditionally suspect powers of observation, I have watched friends and family alike these past few years sincerely wondering how they were going to cope, how they could possibly deal with the literal overnight change that is 100 percent self-inflicted.

I suppose we must accept that the long-standing tradition of becoming independent, no longer reliant upon others for support — financial or otherwise — has been redefined in the 21st century.

Leaving the nest of creature comforts is now a rite of passage for those with enough tech savvy to pull the plug and grow up, ending the dictatorship of the infernal device created some 140 years ago by that Bell fellow.

Yes, you guessed correctly, we have unplugged our home phone.

Not just unplugged it, mind you, but cancelled the lifelong commitment to a bastard stepchild of the original Ma Bell conglomerate, the monopolistic phone company that was forced to cut its own cord back in 1984.

No offense, Century Tel (or Century Link, or whatever you call yourself nowadays). But thanks to the beauty of Bluetooth engineering, our cell phones instantly connect to our existing house phone system upon stepping through the door, each of the old regular phones ringing during a call, just like in the olden days of yore.

And all of it without paying them another dime.

I’m not always cheap (ask my wife; no, wait, don’t ask her.) But when it comes to saving a few hundred bucks each month for a service that is no longer useful, then why the hell not?

Think of it, no more telemarketing calls at 8 p.m. telling me I won a contest, qualified for a new low-interest credit card or can save a bundle on my insurance.

No more will my family be subjected each election season to repeated phone calls every friggin’ night and day from people pretending to give a damn who and why I’m voting for or against whomever or whatever.

No more distant family members or old ex-friends calling to borrow money.

No more unwitting listings in phone books (do they still make those?), though sadly eliminating my occasional reference to one of the best lines in Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”: “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!”

Yep, I do believe sometimes change is indeed good.

Either way, though, our future will be a household of quiet isolationism, at least until the cell companies design some evil plot to allow telemarketers and political wankers to call or text our cell phones.

Back in 2009, I wrote a column about canceling my Denver Post subscription and my concerns about the tectonic shift it might cause in my daily life. I was wrong then (big surprise) and now anticipate the canceling of our home phone land line to be about as dramatic a change as, oh, let’s say, Eagle River Station has been for Eagle so far.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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