Massive cell phone outage makes you wonder: Are we too reliant on our mobile devices?
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thursday’s nationwide outage affected thousands of Americans as wireless carriers such as AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Verizon and T-Mobile and other providers scrambled to fix the issue.

Later that afternoon, AT&T announced its wireless service was restored and named a software update as the reason behind the outage.

RELATED: This week’s cellphone outage makes it clear: In the United States, landlines are languishing

The nationwide outage had some people in a frenzy since they couldn’t make phone calls, send texts, or basically… use their phones. Some may say it was a wake-up call to remind people how dependent and reliant they are on their wireless telephones.

“People were in a panic yesterday when they couldn’t access their social media or instantaneously communicate with their friends and families. So, it highlighted how we’ve become enslaved to our phones,” Psychologist Dr. Justin D’Arienzo said.

Others may have remained calm and handled their business the old-fashioned way — on a landline phone.

According to the most recent estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics, about 73% of American adults in 2022 lived in households where there were only wireless phones and no landlines, while another 25% were in households with both. Barely over 1% had only landlines.

News4JAX talked to Jacksonville residents about the impact of the modern-day cell phone.

“I use it to get on mass transit. I use it to buy coffee. I use it to get into my house. If I don’t have my phone or have service, I cease to exist as a human being,” Stacie Cregg said.

Reginald Thomas said he relied on his phone mainly for basic functions such as texting and calling.

Olive Johnson is an AT&T customer. She said her service was out for roughly 10 hours.

“I could not call my parents who live in South Florida. They were also affected. We couldn’t do business because we’re self-employed. It was not a good situation,” Johnson said.

One thing Johnson said she wished she had during that time was a landline phone.

D’Arienzo said cell phones have made our lives easier, so it’s natural to keep them on hand at all times.

“Humans are social processing beings. So, these phones trigger our reward system, and they are also the way that we connect with people which is also so rewarding,” he said.

There was a time when you could find pay phones on every block. Nowadays, they are just a thing of the past collecting dust…if you can even find them.

“We have a landline, but we mainly depend on our cell phones,” Larry Scafuti said.

Do you think landlines still hold value? Let us know what you think below:

Copyright 2024 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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