Magazine August 13, 2018, Issue

Long Live the Landline

(Josh Westrich/Getty Images)
One man’s tale of bucking a trend

In the years spanning the turn of the millennium, the fixed-line telephone still dominated the small Baptist college where I’d gone to study theater and writing. One occasionally saw a cell phone, just as one occasionally saw a professor with a mullet or a sorority girl wearing fur, but for the most part we all scurried back to our rooms every hour to check our answering machines.

As the Class of 2002 approached graduation, however, something peculiar began to happen. One by one, usually after securing post-baccalaureate employment, my peers began adopting various signifiers of adulthood: a tucked-in shirt, a brisker

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