I admit it.
For years I’ve been saying that it’s ridiculously archaic to be using fax technology. I said that in 2020… and in 2019… and in… well, I’ve been saying it since 2010 at least. It distressed me that my pharmacy and my doctor had to communicate by fax. It distressed me that math team results had to be sent in by fax. For one thing, the fax machine was locked in a closet after hours, when math competitions took place! Also there was no digital record, so everything had to be transcribed by hand.
Why use fax? There couldn’t possibly be any good reason.
Or so I thought. But I was wrong.
What convinced me was an article I just read called “Why do people use fax in 2020?” The unnamed authors list 16 reasons why! Several — though far less than half — were convincing (to me). Read the article yourself, but I’ll just list their executive summary and you can decide how many of the 16 reasons convince you:
- Network effect
- It can work with the internet
- It can be isolated from the internet
- Confirmation pages (proof of message receipt) – the most important reason.
- Legal familiarity
- Can be quicker for some users
- Paper is an open ended format
- Easy interface between two companies
- Japanese, Chinese, and Korean characters are often written
- Easy way to send signatures
- Less anonymous than email
- Faster than letter mail
- Open ended addressing
- Low signal-to-noise ratio
- It’s a filter on communication
- Analog methods are back in style