Back when everyone's phone attached to the wall, I refused to even have an answering machine because its existence seemed to convey the erroneous message that I would a) immediately listen to the messages and b) act on them as instructed. I felt like it turned my phone from a convenience for me into a tool for the others in my life.
Now, of course, things have changed. Everyone carries their phones around with them everywhere. They take them into the bathroom. They sleep with them. They text while driving! I've gotten used to seeing people in meetings with two or three phones spread out before them on the conference table, their attention flicking back and forth between them and the matters at hand.
I just recently let go of my wired, home phone and have struggled to get a cell phone that works for me. There's my work cell, which I'm comfortable with, of course, a nice iPhone 5s, but it's not mine. So, I signed up for the free (yes, really, actually free) service from FreedomPop but I had to buy a phone. My word, they are spendy! I chose the cheapest and got exactly what I paid for.
I struggled for months with the phone and thought maybe if I upgraded to a better cell plan it would be better, but no, the phone itself is a piece of crap, unable to accommodate its operating system and more than three apps. And then, there's Sprint, the line on which it operates. I got a different phone and still got just one or two bars in my home. Everywhere else it was fine, but not at home.
Consternation. So there I was with three phones, none of which were up to the job except the work phone, which I don't own. So my partner of 20+ years had a solution. He gave me his old phone, a Galaxy4, and just got a second line on his account. It's not entirely free, but it's cheaper than my upgraded service and it is now my own, fully operational, phone.
I don't love my phone the way some people do, but I do rely on having some means of reliable communication. So if you have my number, leave me a voice mail. Maybe I'll even return it!