Number of cell phone only homes growing
More and more of us are cutting the cord, and, ironically, it's the poor economy that is advancing a major technological advance.
For the first time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of households that have only cell phones has surpassed the number of households that have only landlines.
During the last half of 2008, 20 percent of American homes had only cell phones, and 17 percent had only landlines but no cells.
But it doesn't end there.
The survey found thatt 15 percent of the households that have both landlines and cell phones take few or no calls on their landlines, often because they are wired into computers.
Taken together, that means more than one in three households are reachable only on cell phones.
The CDC found that people who live in homes with only wireless service tend to be disproportionately low-income, young, renters and Hispanics, more likely to be pressured into dropping landlines by a downturn in the economy.
It isn't hard to understand the attraction to cell phones -- landlines don't generally handle text, photos or Internet in themselves.
And the quality and coverage of cell service has improved exponentially with the advent of more towers and digital services.
But that same digital service can result in dropped calls and big bills, if consumers aren't careful with their contracts and usage.
And, when you just need a break, it's hard to convince your callers that you're away from the phone.