It was 1998, not all households had the Internet yet, and you could still only be reachable at certain times by landline. I certainly didn’t recall seeing cell phones regularly until I was a senior in high school in 2002.
I really appreciate you creating this timeline! I'm a GenXer of the Xennial variety and I sometimes wonder where I stood in all of this. I was on the low-income side of things when I graduated high school in 1996. I envied my bff's pager. I don't remember cell phones then but do remember pay phones. In 2002, I'd just gotten married--at some point between 2001-2002, my then-husband talked me into getting my first cell phone--for safety. I remember pleading to borrow his Nokia (I think) to play Snake. I didn't own a computer until we bought one together sometime after we married. The computer labs at college were extremely important for me.
I avoid calls, too, but once I'm on them, I'm usually ecstatic. Interestingly, I have a friends I've met on this platform who prefer phone calls--One is my age (early 40s) and the other is 23!