Deaf geographies, and other worlds.

Why don’t we use open-channel communication more?

I realised, when I opened this to write, that it’s already been nearly 6 weeks since I last wrote.

The main reason for this is that – post AAG, I’ve been concentrating on getting the resources list at the Deaf Geographies Sandbox blog as complete as possible, and any other time I would have used arriving early at work, and at lunchtime, to write, I’ve spent instead putting together an outline bid for funding.

It’s been a back-breaking task because I’m so out of practice – and reading through what I’ve written – it’s not actually very good, but I can see how to make it good. So, time well spent.

Also time well spent because, for the first time, I feel like I can actually see a way to move gracefully from where I am to where I’d like to be, and actually continue to work with the IT department that currently houses me.

Time will tell whether the funding bodies actually go for it – but if they do, then not only will I get to do the research that I want to do – but I might be able to harness some of the funding to some develop some pretty funky online resources based around Deaf history and geographies.

But that’s not what’s spurred me to write this evening – rather, that comes from a phone call that I’ve just had with my wife who is currently in Barbados where she’s having a holiday with girlfriends before the baby arrives – while I remain in the drenched land of hosepipe bans, looking after our daughter.

Jo landed in Barbados about 2 hours ago and within an hour of getting to the apartment where she has broadband and wireless, we were looking at each other and chatting on Skype.

That gave me pause.

My first extended period of living overseas was in 1990. There was no Internet to speak of, and no available mobile phones. Communication with home was by landline and letter.

A few years later, I was overseas again. By that point I could find resources to send 1 email a week home. The volume was just the same. It was just the medium that had changed.

Now, if I go overseas and have available services at each end, I can pretty much watch what happens in my home, live, indefinitely.

We have so much more available for so much more of the time. But our basic approach to how we initiate, or understand ‘being in communication’  with those who are ‘far away’ doesn’t seem to have changed much.

I don’t know about you, but I dream of the day when I don’t have to ‘go’ anywhere to be in the same room as anyone, anywhere. I love the idea that I can build my office from those I know, and simply have open channel communication running, and can interrupt, joke about with, collaborate with, spark off, ask the opinion of – others, at any point.

And for those of us whose colleagues are Deaf, and who would naturally use sign language over text with them… surely this is some kind of utopia!

Perhaps we’re not quite there yet with the technology – but if we’re not, then we’re damn close.

Perhaps we’re concerned about wastage – do we still treat data transmission like water – rationing it, and only turning on the tap when we need it rather than treating it like a fountain that keeps on flowing.

Perhaps it’s a politeness thing… or a concentration thing… but we deal with those in an open plan office.

Perhaps we’ve just not tried it…

Or perhaps some have.

If you have – what’s it like?

If you haven’t – fancy giving it a go?



This entry was posted on April 19, 2012 by in Musings, Technology and tagged , , .
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