How Many Phones Do You Need To Connect Anyway?

How many phones do I need to be connected? Too many phones is leaving me disconnected.

A phone diet.

I know I need to go on one.

To cut back.

Like any other situation in my life where I know I’ve over done it.

This now applies to the phone.

Not so much about time spent on phone.

Simply the number of phones.

Have you done your own phone math, Dear Reader?

Seems like yesterday, I had a home phone, a business phone, and a cell phone.

And shoot, just to be honest and retro, I’ll mention a FAX line, as well.

If you’re under 40, you can Google, “FAX machine.”

I’ve known for sometime it’s time to simplify.

The business line and FAX are long gone.

Husband and I talk about unplugging even more.

A lot.

One unplug leads to another.

As the home phone is tied into internet service and the dreaded cable box.

Which we really need to dump.

But that’s a big project.

So, we do what other over-busy adults do.

We put it off.

We simply unplugged the home phone and let everything go to voicemail.



A big mistake, I realized this week.

A wake up call, you could say.

“You have 32 voicemail messages,” the robot lady voice announced Tuesday. “First message, sent, Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015.”


So began the tedious process of listening to and deleting so many useless messages.

The politicians I won’t be voting for simply because they robo-called my house.

The charities I won’t be donating to simply because they called my house.

At dinner time.

The wrong number.

No, Velma doesn’t live here and I have no idea if she’s sleeping with your husband.




Just as I was hoping for a “Delete All” button, I heard a message begin with a familiar voice.

Very familiar.

“Hey, this is your brother,” the voice said as I stopped in my deleting tracks.

My brother.

My first hero.

The one I miss who lives on the other side of the country.

The one who I recently assumed had gotten too busy to think of me.

“Don’t hear from him much,” was the message I had been running through my head.

And yet, here he was.

My brother.

Leaving me multiple messages.

Wishing me a happy birthday in January.

Wishing me well on my new book in February.

Laughing to think who would play our family members if my book were made into a movie.

That was March.

My brother.

The one who I felt disconnected from.

Ah, the power of assumptions.

The messages we feed ourselves.

He was there all the time.

On the other end of the line.

A line I stopped checking months ago.

Is it possible, Dear Reader, that we’ve fooled ourselves?

Between multiple phones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

We think we’re overly connected.

And yet, the truth might be.

All that equipment.

All those layers.

Are actually leading us into the abyss of disconnection?

It’s time to slim down.

It’s time to call my brother.

(((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



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How Many Phones Do You Need To Connect Anyway?

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min