Perhaps, a better title for this post would be… My “rave/rant” relationship with Voxer!
Voxer is neat! In case you are unfamiliar with this new technology-here is a summary. Voxer is an app where people can send brief audio, text, or image rich messages directly to other users. Groups of people can gather into Voxer chats and have an ongoing conversation around similar interests with all the nuances in audio communication and explicated dialogue that can’t be found through tweets or snippets of social media. One can even capture short audio messages and attach them to tweets and emails. Of course there are other nifty features-like being able to listen to messages at two times speed or faster. Personally, I enjoy getting to hear that human voices of many of my social media acquaintances – it truly fosters a sense of community and deepens the relationships of those with whom you interact frequently. It’s really just an easy to use, walkie-talkie style of non-video communication that can only be outdone by FaceTime, Skype, or GHO. Voxer is definitely worth adding to your social media online presence utility belt. I love Voxer.
But, I also can’t stand Voxer! I try to listen to these short audio clips in my car- using the car stereo. This is “my time” to listen and learn – to even reply to a Vox or two. Every once in a while the Vox goes off topic and you have to listen to message after message about a topic that doesn’t even fit the name of the group. Or one person will leave an extraordinarily long Vox – yes, you can skip it or fast forward – but you hate to ignore or dismiss someone’s potentially great comment due to “style points”. The sheer volume of the posts on Voxer can become quite a labor to really “listen” to other users. The posts are non-descript and there is really no easy way to skim/search out posts of interest. There’s really no way to filter or screen out the off-topic comments. AlI have to say that some of the posts are simply just painful to listen to! I do not mean any disrespect, but people Vox when they exercise – huffing and puffing while they turn a brief comment into an asthma/apnea screening. Plus, every ADHD distraction can’t be filtered out of the audio recording – hearing someone start reading road signs as they get lost while driving and voxing (yikes). Posts can’t be edited or deleted. Once, an administrator accidentally recorded and posted a Vox of an entire staff meeting (over an hour long)! It was interesting, but Jeeze! Lastly, shrill voices, crying babies, and random other noises make me crazy! Maybe I have a phobia or some kind of disorder – but my blood pressure/irritation meter goes off the charts I the right frequency/pitch hits my ears.
Okay – love the Voxer, hate the Voxer – rant over.
There should be a list of “Voxer sins” somewhere. By the way, I know there are many great educators who I follow on Voxer and Twitter – I am not diminishing their great contributions to our profession (even if they committed a Voxer sin). Respect and love to the Vox-peeps.