I Stare at my Phone and LAUGH!

If I'm not married to you or if I didn't birth you... I'm just not going to talk to you on the phone! :-)
If I’m not married to you or if I didn’t birth you… I’m just not going to talk to you on the phone! 🙂

Last week after a meeting with Anne Arundel County Commission on Disabilities, I received a follow-up phone call about changes in a training that I would be participating in for the Public Safety committee. There are five of us on the committee, two of which (including myself) have hearing loss. I never give out my cell phone number, but do have a number that we use as our “home phone” through Google Voice. The reality is that Google Voice isn’t a phone at all. It transcribes messages from a messaging service when people call the number and leave a message. I receive both a written transcription and the taped message.

So I received the message with changes about our training and read/heard at the end: “Call me to let me know you received this”.

I laughed.

Out loud.


I don’t use the phone. On rare occasions I will speak to my husband or grown kids on my cell phone. However, I know their voices VERY well. Sometimes I will talk to my mother but only long enough to ask her to switch to FaceTime. (Always helps to see the face to pick up more of the conversation). With all other people, however, I do not use the phone.

It isn’t that I cannot use the phone. It simply isn’t my first choice (or second, or third choice). If I want to talk on the phone I have to stop everything. No multi-tasking such as continuing what I’m doing on my computer, or folding laundry, or working in the kitchen. I have to sit (that’s right… I can’t stand!) switch to t-coil on my cochlear implant and hearing aid, close my eyes (I’m not kidding), and concentrate. How often would YOU be able to talk on the phone if this were the parameters for you to do so? <BIG GRIN>

Email is a Great Choice


Email is a great choice for people with disabilities or chronic illness. In my opinion, it is actually a great choice for everyone. Why?

1. Email gives a written record of exactly what was said.

It doesn’t really matter if the conversation is personal or business. A written record of what was actually said can help us better remember dates, times, and other important information.

2. Email fits into our schedule.

You can check email on many phones now. You can check email on devices such as iPods and iPads, and Kindle Fire. Many types of technology allow you to read and respond to emails no matter where you are.

When we need to respond to emails from our desks, something business related or important, we can do so on OUR schedule. No playing telephone tag. Instead you can read and respond at a time that is convenient.

3. Email can eliminate communication problems.

Have a habit of interrupting someone mid-sentence? Do you have attention-deficit disorder and are easily distracted by what is going on around you? Is the person you need to communicate with hard to talk to – angers easily, defensive, mumbles, etc? Email eliminates those kinds of problems.

4. Email is free.

Most of us have a computer at home now. If you do not, you likely have a way to access email through mobile devices or at least have a library nearby where you can access the Internet. There are numerous free email options. I personally use Google’s gmail for my email account. However, there are numerous free email options discussed at About.com. You can access that HERE.

Email can also be a great choice for people with disabilities or chronic illness. I am late-deafened and hear again with a cochlear implant. For me, email eliminates the pressure to HEAR. When folks get a hold of my cell phone number for some reason and call, I really do stare at my phone and laugh. Email can be read by special programs such as JAWS (a Microsoft computer screen reader) and written with Braille displays for folks with low-vision or people who are blind. Email font can be enlarged to assist those with problems seeing smaller type. Email can be a great communication device (along with various social media) for people who have difficulty expressing themselves and using their voice. Email may be easily accessed with various tools for people who have mobility issues. Email is available when you are ready to read/send communications… something that may be important to people who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, FibromyalgiaLymes disease, or other disorder where fatigue and pain are a factor. Can you tell I’m a big fan of email?

Some of you are thinking, “But I just want to hear your voice!” I totally understand that. Even as a person with hearing loss, I understand how important inflection, emotion, and accents may be in communication. We do need to be sensitive to the fact that there are a great number of people who do not feel the same way. Just because you like to hear someone’s voice with a phone tucked under your ear, doesn’t mean that others are able to have a hands-free, low-anxiety audible communication with you. Perhaps Skype would be a good choice for you – free to anyone with a computer or modern cell phone. FaceTime is rising in popularity with people who have Apple products. These communication devices allow people to both hear and see when communicating. You can even have conference calling!

I think the only thing I love more than email is texting! Unless, you want to discuss a major problem called autocorrect… but hey! That’s a topic for another post!

Denise Portis

© 2013 Personal Hearing Loss Journal

5 thoughts on “I Stare at my Phone and LAUGH!

  1. When I saw the title, I thought “That’s what I do.” But now I see it is for a different reason. I am just a dumb person trying to get used to a Smart Phone. I might have to look into Google voice, though. We might drop our land line.

  2. I do the same thing! I haven’t talked on the phone for probably 2 years. (I lost my hearing late, and quickly). I’ll soon be getting a 2nd CI, this one will have blue tooth. My husband is so happy that I will be able to talk on the phone. I can make my own appointments, talk to doctors…ect.
    I’m kind of sad about that, I have really enjoyed not talking on the phone. And found that a few of my friends like it so much they won’t email or text me. NO, I haven’t talked to most of them in almost 2 years. Sad but true.

    I will try to talk to my husband if I have to, but normally I’ll just say….I can’t hear you, but I’m having a Meniere’s attack can you help me? and hang up….or I’ll just keep saying help. (He’s usually just down stairs.)
    Not sure what I would do if I had to call 911 for something.

    good post, I’ve been thinking about talking on the phone a lot lately.

  3. I know there are wonderful resources to “practice” phone listening now. I don’t think I’m FEARFUL so much as as “eh… don’t need it”. I suppose if I had someone that could only use the phone I’d try harder to use it. 🙂

  4. I wish I could ‘like’ this more than once — you know I hate the phone!! 😉 You reminded me of one of the main reasons I dislike it so much: I am tethered to my CapTel phone for the duration of the call. I really need captions and amplification for the phone, so I don’t have the luxury of wandering around with a cordless phone like hearing people. (I don’t use my cell phone for talking at all — I have a data-only plan for that.)

    I’ve often wished something would happen to all the phone lines across the world, so that everybody would be forced to use a different means of communication. I love email!!

    I keep all my phone calls to less than five minutes (if even that) — it is exhausting for me, with all the concentrating I have to do and how tense and stressed out I become when I get on the phone. Ugh. ::shudder::

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