The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | Loaded landlines put people at risk

Dean Lawson Editorial Nov 2017

There was a time when a ring coming in to a household landline telephone generated a sense of expectation and above all, curiosity.
Who could it be ringing us? Relatives or friends primed for a chat, a business returning a call, perhaps an essential service informing us or following up with information we were seeking?
Sadly those days appear long gone. Now, instead of curious anticipation, many of us answer household landline calls with a feeling or dread, anxiety or annoyance.
In fact, some of us these days don’t answer at all, preferring instead to allow answering machines or services to field a seemingly un-ending queue of unsolicited calls.
The household landline telephone system, so long the backbone of modern communication, has more than taken a back seat in a world of mobile phones. For many, it’s now becoming a nuisance.
It has established itself as an open avenue for cheeky sales people, marketers, charities, surveyors and crooks to get easy access to everyday people.
And, similar to online hacking, at particular risk are our vulnerable elderly.
Sure, there are ways to block uninvited calls, but many people consider this an inconvenience and processes always need renewing.
It stands to reason that with the many efficient mobile-phone services, plans and savings now available, many people have simply ditched landline services to their homes.
But others, perhaps wary of potential signal and connectivity issues, perceived costs, confused by the flood of Telco schemes and products available or simply unwilling to change something that has worked so well in the past, cling to their traditional connections. And why shouldn’t they?
Regardless of what some modern telecommunication whizzes might argue, home-based telephone landlines remain, if only as a back-up service, important to community security.
There are obviously no fool-proof ways of keeping our telephones in our homes free of junk or criminal elements.
If so, these calls would be considerably fewer and more random.
The issue is obviously also far from confined to landlines, with all levels of communication vulnerable to incursions from uninvited participants.
What it tells us that in our modern and shrinking world we have never been more accessible or connected to each other.
It also tells us that being connected, as wonderful as it is, has its challenges and these days there are various levels of privacy.

The entire March 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Mar 13 2019

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