SMS enters the group chat

Tell us about a time when a mobile phone made you feel powerful.

“I am partially deaf. I started university 3 months before I got a mobile phone in September 1999. I struggled to follow group discussions. I was always behind on group knowledge e.g who had split up with who. People would try to whisper to me but I can’t hear whispers. When I got a mobile phone, suddenly I had a private communication channel (SMS) where people could tell me things discreetly, or let me know big news in our group of friends. I was suddenly more connected to people where previously the usual hearing ways were inaccessible to me. I also made new deaf signing friends at the same time, so could have conversations by SMS. Many deaf people like me had the slightly expensive unlimited SMS tariff so used SMS like instant messenger. Having the phone improved my access to the social world and friendships considerably and made face to face communication easier as I now had more context.”

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