It’s been a good run. It really has. I remember when I used to dash to my home phone and listen to the messages left by friends who obediently disclosed their name, number, and a brief message so I could get back to them. That was in a time when our home phone was the only way I could be reached. A time when voicemail made sense because it actually was the most efficient means of communication.
Fast forward to 2012. Now, when that sinister red icon appears alerting me that someone has left a voicemail, my first reaction is confusion. With trepidation, I press play and listen to one of my friends leave an inevitably rambling message that take two minutes worth of long pauses just to finally ask me to call them back.
It’s a hassle to leave a voice message--because, despite years of experience doing it, the canned voice on the other end of the line still inspires anticipation; in a world of text messaging and silent, virtual exchanges, we might be so addled by the beep that we just shriek and chuck our phone against the nearest wall. It’s a hassle to check voice messages. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to confess, “No, I didn’t listen to it. I just called you back” with an implied “Next time, just text me!”
Voicemail is antiquated. It’s outdated. It’s a practice that hasn’t quite caught up to the pace of technology. When it comes to the efficient exchange of information, an email is much more likely to contained detailed information than a voicemail. Now, when a phone call goes unanswered, the logical choice is to shoot a text over asking the person to give you a call back when they can. No mailbox passwords, no sorting through dozens of unlistened to voicemails, and the ease of instant response.
It’s not you. It’s me--I’ve changed. I prefer the efficiency of an email over the charm of an answering machine. I prefer the gentle buzz of a text over the shrill ringing of a home phone. And, as a millennial, I want instant access rather than a delayed response. So this is the swan song of the voicemail. We’ve had some good times over the years, but I think it’s time we called it.
Text me sometime.
Author: Lane Jones is our Fall Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.