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Technology changing America

“Your father needs to use the phone.” “You’ve been on the phone for hours.” “You have ten more minutes on the phone.”

As teenagers prior to the ’90s, these comments were typical from our parents. Fewer and fewer teens are experiencing those dreaded words when the home phone is tied up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new survey this week, showing that nearly half of all American households now use only cellphones rather than older landlines. In total, 47 percent of the 21,000 households queried were cell-only, 41 percent use both, just 8 percent use just a landline and 3.4 percent have no phone at all.

Accounting for demographics, the results are even more staggering — 71 percent of 24- to 34-year-olds use only their cells. Additionally, renters were far more likely to not have landlines than landlords, and people living with non-family members went cell-only 85 percent of the time.

The CDC has been tracking these phone trends since 2003. It does so because much of the CDC’s other survey work occurs over the phone and increasingly stringent laws governing phone surveys threatens to hinder those efforts.

This survey  proves that we are entering a new technological age. Remember just a few years ago before WiFi when you had to plug in your home phone line to your computer to access the Internet? I can still here that dial up sound from the ’90s and “you’ve got mail” as I checked my AOL email.

It’s amazing how quickly technology is evolving, but it’s also a bit sad. Mobile phones have become the norm for all of us.

Soon a generation of children will not know what it’s like to have Mom or Dad pick up the other phone and tell you it’s time to get off the phone or to argue with your sibling over the use of the phone.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of the Oxford       EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.