Maybe, it really depends...
When I decided to get cell phone service, I was stranded away from home with a bad flywheel and no way to phone my wife or anyone else for help. In this area, Bellsouth has removed all the public pay phones except for the ones in the hospital ER waiting rooms and at the local college and university. Pay phones have been removed from the shopping areas altogether, primarily because so many people have cell phones these days. To complicate matters, most merchants have adopted a policy of not allowing customers to use their "company" phones. Hell, even if I'd had access to a pay phone, the only number I had with me was my home phone, and my wife was out of town. While I was stranded, I vowed that I would not be in that situation again. I promptly subscribed to a cell phone service family plan, which provided lines for my wife, my son, my daughter, and my mother-in-law--at a price, of course. The good thing about cell phones in an emergency situation is that it has an address book to store the numbers of your family and friends. Also, it is there wherever you might be, ready to use in an instant--provided, of course, that you are in an area where there is cell phone reception at all.
So, if the phone companies reinstalled the pay phones in public places, so someone in a pinch could have a means of communication, then yes I could do without my cell phone. My daughter, on the other hand, would like totally die if she had to like do without her cell phone--her lifeline, the mechanical object that has embedded itself into her right ear and right hand, essentially welding her right hand to her right ear--for a single day. We had to suspend her service for a day after three months of serious overages and repeated instructions for her to cut down on her talking time. She moped around like the world was coming to an end. She was almost to the point of tears by the time we increased our rate plan and restored her service. Me, I'm from the dayse before cell phones, when it was almost a necessity to have a CB radio in one's vehicle. Before that, there were pay phones on every corner and in every retail store and restaurant in every town that was on the map. I still remember how to send smoke signals, so I'll get by fine without a cell phone--as long as there is someone "out there" who remembers how to interpret smoke signals.
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