The New York Times took a look at the state of the voicemail in this story by Teddy Wayne.
To that all-important demographic known as “the millennial”, the voicemail is antiquated at best and quickly approaching obsolescence. Texting is on the rise, according to a Pew report, with teens sending and receiving a median of 60 messages per day in 2011, up from 50 per day in 2009. And a text can effectively serve the same purpose as a voicemail — it’s a communiqué for the recipient to catch at his or her convenience.
Wayne’s story also sheds light on a surprising amount of anxiety some feel when confronted with an answering machine message:
Kate Greathead, 31, a writer in New York and a friend of mine, didn’t enjoy leaving voice mail messages for friends in college, “but it had to happen, and I would do it,” she said. Have her messaging abilities atrophied in the age of texting? “Definitely,” she said. “I’m fine telling a story in front of 400 strangers, but get dry-mouthed when leaving a voice mail.” (She is a four-time Moth StorySLAM winner.)
“Sometimes I write a script out beforehand,” Ms. Greathead said. “Most voice mail has an option to review your message. If it doesn’t have that, I don’t always leave one. If it does, I’ll review it before sending it and sometimes do different takes. Though I’ve learned not to trust that function. Once I accidentally recorded two versions of the same voice mail.”
With the modern smartphone’s ability to show missed calls, that’s often all information one needs to return a call.
How do you relate to voicemail? Let us know in the comments, then check out Wayne’s full story at the NYT »