I’m into my 4th day of not having a voice aside from a forced whisper. It oddly coincides with buying a new IP phone so I’m not really getting much use out of it so far other than routing incoming calls to voicemail and those with a voice. But then I’ve long used other methods of modern communication. Being impaired in the hearing department has always meant that any mobile phone is largely relegated to the role of sms , email and instant messaging and those that know and deal with me learn that these routes get a faster response than a cold call on the telephone.
Back in the day I was a big fan of pagers. Prior to affordable mobile phones it was a good way for clients to get in touch. I held on to mine way longer than most as I preferred to get back to people at my convenience rather than be on permanently on call. Even now i hardly use mobile phones for making calls and people know that to call me is the lesser communications option as if I’m out and about it’s highly likely I won’t be able to hear the caller. A text message gets them further and outside of instant messaging and email it’s my preferred method of communication.
I’d be more than happy to just have a hand held device that could just do Instant messaging, sms, voicemail and Internet (though many mobile phones and PDA’s now do that) but ubiquitous and free WiFi is not available in the UK and so much as something like Sony’s Mylo appeals greatly it wouldn’t be much use outside of the confines and small range of a wireless router.
In the US many phones have ‘push to talk’ which is used a bit like sms but just pushes packets of voicemail across phones at a cheaper rate than calling somebody live to just say “I’m on a train” (why do people do that?).
And now I hear that Britain’s Labour members of Parliament must finally hand in their dated pagers in order to all be issued with free Blackberry’s instead (Ah something else that can push up the size of claimed expenses).