Shout out to subscriber Kathy H. who said “I feel a blog about being silenced is in your future.” Now, Kathy knows I love to chat. We Facetime, Viber or Magic Jack call each other a lot. What do we talk about? I haven’t a clue, but for about a week the chatting stopped.
On those chatless days we were plagued with thunder, lighting, whooshing rain and turn your umbrella inside out wind. The internet went kaput. No Internet no chatting.
Suddenly I was silenced!
Yeah, yeah I know – I could still e-mail from my smart phone but it ain’t the same as voice to voice chatting. For one whole week I couldn’t verbally reach out to family and friends in the USA. WHAT!
It was a great opportunity to read books, sit in the caffè and gossip and maybe even play at writing something. It also made me realize that my blabbing about our great cheap ways to communicate with folks in other parts of the globe needed a revision. Here in the hills we have one communication tragic flaw – storms knock out the internet.
Our internet is provided through an antennae on our house and a signal sent from an even bigger antennae somewhere in the hills. When the wind is whoooooooooossssshhhhhhhing the signal starts swirling and may be providing internet to Saturn.
No internet means NO Magic Jack.
No internet means NO Facetime or Skype
How does one overcome this dilemma? First, make sure you have a good cellular telephone provider. We use WIND and pay ten Euro a month for 200 minutes of calls, 200 texts and UNLIMITED data. Second, make sure you have a phone that can become a wi-fi hotspot. I have an iPhone 4s that works well as a hotspot.
I will caution you, there were times when the storms also limited our ability to use our cell phones but not often.
To make quick calls to the USA – really quick because the more you use the unlimited data the slower it becomes – I would turn the cell phone into a hot spot and call through my iPad or Macbook Air. Apple doesn’t send me dime for saying what I’m about to say (though I would gladly accept the latest iPhone.) Apple products all work incredibly well together.
I’ve installed Viber and Skype on my iPad. Facetime comes with the iPad and Macbook. Magic Jack also now has an application for smart phones a well as your computer. Our New Jersey phone number is our Magic Jack number so folks can easily call us and/or leave a message. (Though I wish telemarkerters would stop calling at 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time which is MIDNIGHT here.)
Bottom line – I may not be able to sip Campari Soda and talk about nothing with pals in America for an hour but thanks to a good cellular provider and the hotspot on my iPhone we can still get our words out.