June 10, 2015

"Like the pay phone and pager before it, voice mail is on its way out."

I'm sure you don't need to read the article to know why.

Why would anyone leave voicemail when they could email (or text)?

37 comments:

Chuck said...

Why would anyone leave a text, when they can call and speak to the other person is the first question.

After calling, and finding the recipient not answering, why not leave voice mail?

I suppose texting or emailing is fine if you know that the person will not be answering their phone. But surely there are more strange excesses in the personal use of texts, than in the uses of voice mail.

MayBee said...

My mother in law says someday we will wonder at the new device that allows us to actually talk in real time to other people who are far away.

I think if something needs a call, a voice mail is in order. People who call and don't leave a voice mail- or send a text- bug me. But if you are already on the phone, texting isn't easier.

Bob Ellison said...

Individuals respond to communications differently (and sometimes not at all). I text some people because I know they won't listen to voicemails. I don't leave voicemails for some people, because I know they'll call back, curiously.

The liability issue is king, though. It's recorded. Person-to-person talk will still be around in a hundred years.

roadgeek said...

"...People who call and don't leave a voice mail- or send a text- bug me. ..."

In my job I sometimes find it necessary to make phone calls, and I find that, more and more, leaving a v/m doesn't get a return call. People, especially those with cell phones, don't check their v/m like they once did. So if I call, and I go to v/m, I simply hang up. Plus, due to my workload, I don't have time to play telephone tag. Email is much more likely to get a response.

Tank said...

I know for the non-business stuff, my kids do not listen to VM. They see the number and call back and say "hi Dad." In business, I think you need to listen to the VM. I don't think my clients would take a no VM policy well. Of course, lots of them are over 50 like me.

Unknown said...

The Caller ID log is the message. What do you need besides "it's me, it's 3:14, call me back?"

Bobber Fleck said...

Before retiring, I often preferred leaving email or text messages versus leaving a voice mail message. I was able to craft more efficient and precise messages at a keyboard that allowed me to back up and make corrections.

There is a downside, of course. I started paying attention to forums and blogs around 1998. It appears to me that some blogs and forums are going the way of texts and Twitter with lots of short opinionated comments with little substantiating evidence. (OK, I agree that's not new, but it seems to be increasing.) It can be hard to lay out a coherent case in 140 characters. How will that affect future generations?

virgil xenophon said...

Following on Chuck, I would also point out that a) texting/e-mail takes FAR more time and effort than vm and b) one may convey MANY nuanced interpretations of one's msg (eg., sarcasm, urgency, etc) that cannot be done via e-mail, texting, etc. So why bother to utilize modes that a) are more bothersome & time-consuming, and b) covey less information?

(although roadgeek does have a point about people checking their vm less & less.)

EDH said...

Aside from leaving hands free messages when driving...

"Why would anyone leave voicemail when they could email (or text)?"

I read bad poetry into your machine
I save your messages just to hear your voice
You always listen carefully to awkward rhymes
You always say your name like I wouldn't know it's you
At your most beautiful

I've found a way to make you
I've found a way

A way to make you smile

Fritz said...

Texting on a phone sucks.

MayBee said...

The Caller ID log is the message. What do you need besides "it's me, it's 3:14, call me back?"

I want to know how important it is. Are you just calling to chat? Are you in the emergency room? Tell me!

Ann Althouse said...

"Why would anyone leave a text, when they can call and speak to the other person is the first question. After calling, and finding the recipient not answering, why not leave voice mail?"

Because when you call, you don't know if the person will be able to answer, and if they don't answer, you'll be stuck leaving a voicemail which will put the burden on them to call.

When you email or text, you know they can get back to you in their own time.

But actually, you CAN try to call and if there's no answer, send an email or text. The person will still see that there was a missed call and if you're someone they know and want to speak to, they can call.

You know many (maybe most) people don't even listen to voicemail. They just see the missed call and call back if they want. It's too much trouble to punch in the numbers or whatever. (I have work voicemail that turns itself into email... I get an embedded audio clip in the email. That's nice, but it's not used very much, and I'm sure the university pays plenty of money for that service.)

Ann Althouse said...

"Texting on a phone sucks."

My phone lets me record audio for a text.

ken in tx said...

During a real estate negotiation, I noticed that our agent would ignore voice and email for a few days, but would respond to texts right away.

Christopher B said...

I don't know of a way to reliably know that the number you're dialing is capable of accepting texts. Plus what Fritz said.

But in general I do prefer email or text to voice mail for asynchronous communication. It's very hard to keep a voice mail for reference.

Michael K said...

My children don't return calls but will return texts. It's annoying and I'm in the habit of calling, not texting.

They are adults and miss a few things because they don't return calls. I do text if I remember but texting is much less convenient.

Jessica said...

Because sometimes there is no substitute for the human voice. When I miscarried for the third time, I got a few "so sorry" texts. I got one voicemail (from someone who I wasn't particularly close with). I so appreciated that she "put herself out there" enough to leave a voicemail. It meant more than all the cowardly, avoidant texts combined.

TosaGuy said...

I hate long voicemails that essentially the person is telling you their whole side of the conversation they want to have. If you can't say it in 10 seconds, then simply tell me to call you back.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I can't stand texting on my phone (tracphone. And a flip phone. Pain in the neck for texting), but I have a Google Voice account and can send texts from that. It's like email for the people who don't check email.

MayBee said...

My phone lets me record audio for a text.

It also lets you play voicemail without pressing in numbers.

Chuck said...

Althouse you mistake my position as favoring voice to the exclusion of texting or email. I don't believe in the exclusivity of any particular medium. But as someone who followed me said; a real live telephone call is infinitely more personal and expressive, and is undeniably faster and easier. For the caller. Maybe not the recipient; and that's okay. There are some people -- millennials, mostly -- whom I routinely text, because that's what they want and expect. And in many of their cases, they aren't much worth talking to anyway.

Texting is of course potentially useful; but not as a substitute for spoken dialogue. And if it is the act of writing (and art) that interests you, then I am with you there as well. But of course then we are talking about email and full sized keyboards. And certainly not text messages or character-limited Twitter.

MayBee said...

I like texting and email and hardly ever talk on the phone. But if I get a call from a number I don't know, especially then, I want a voicemail. I don't want the delivery service to text me and tell me they are trying to get a hold of me to schedule delivery.
And if it is someone who usually texts me, but calls instead, leave a voicemail! Why are you doing something different this time?

alan markus said...

This could work unless the number of customers who perhaps don't do text or emails is significant enough to impact their revenue.

Years ago our local Chase Bank went through a process where customers were encouraged to transact as much business as possible on-line or through their customer service call centers. Now they beg customers to come into the bank - I no longer have to use the drive-through to deposit the occasional odd checks that I get now that I can do it with my IPad. Every time I would go, they would "suggest" I stop in the bank and talk to a customer service rep about my accounts ("nothing is wrong, of course, they just want to review your information with you"). Of course, I get lots of voice mails from them asking me to call them back. One time I was pretty sick so my resistance was at a low, and I went inside. Lobby looked like a ghost town, was made to wait 5 minutes, and then got ushered into an cubicle to be offered a pre-approved credit card.

Point is, they broke the habits of people coming into the bank, now they are trying to figure a way to get them back in. Same thing with voice mail - if they start not hearing from customers, it will come back.

Megaera said...

Texting developed as a technology to take advantage of the fact that you could deliver a message as a "burst" delivery, all at once, and be charged under cell phone rules for only a millisecond (nanosecond?) of usage. Why in the name of God are people with unlimited time/text contracts wasting literally hours typing away like demons to carry on text "conversations" with each other that could be transacted in minutes or less. And which, I might add, are ALL stored forever by your cell phone carrier, to be coughed up like a hairball at some incredibly embarrassing moment in the future. You people who text are fools. I spent years, YEARS, trying to tell people like you never to put something in writing you didn't want to come back to haunt you, and here you are slinging your own text nooses around your necks with mad abandon. I'd have thought better of you, Ann, considering your line of work...

MikeR said...

I have never been able to get my voicemail to behave in a way that I can stand it: that is, similar to text. To wit:
When I click voicemail on my phone, I want it to show me my voicemails. Then I want to be able to play them. I don't want to have to put in a password; what is the sense in that? Are my voicemails so much more confidential than my texts?
Why doesn't it show voicemails in a visual list, like texts, so I can pick the ones I want and delete the rest? Why should I have to listen to every one, sequentially?
Why am I supposed to record a stupid message when no one wants to hear a message?

Could be there are ways around some of these issues, but they shouldn't be issues. Make voicemail like text and I'll use it.

Gusty Winds said...

With caller ID, I don't even listen to the VM messages. I just return the call I see came in. Or not.

MayBee said...

MikeR- the iPhone does exactly what you want

mikeski said...

Most people can speak faster than they can type.

Most people can read faster than they can listen.

Email/Text me? You're saying my time is more important than your time. Thank you.

Voicemail? You're saying your time is more important than my time. Screw you. (Especially if you're leaving the sort of message that I have to listen to, then find pen/paper to write down some of what you're saying, then play the message again to copy down the info...)

Same thing for, say, blog posts vs. podcasts.

Freeman Hunt said...

My phone lets me record audio for a text.

This is my primary mode of texting.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Huh? If I'm not at my phone, it doesn't much matter what method is used; I'm not going to respond until I get back to my phone.

(I do prefer a follow up text if the caller is leaving a number. Then again, I give few people my number which means that my cheap ass phone is barely used, by design.)

Smilin' Jack said...

""Like the pay phone and pager before it, voice mail is on its way out.""
....I'm sure you don't need to read the article to know why.


Umm...because you're going to podcast or blogginghead it for us?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Phone for voice calls, where nuances of vocal expression and/or decreased liklihood of recording are important. If no answer, leave brief voice-mail message.

Desk computer for written communication, where conciseness or written record may be important.

Phone can be used for text message or email when my time, or knowing if the message was received, is not important. I could likely find a pay phone faster than accurately typing a text message on phone touch screen. For email by phone there is additional time cost of finding a wi-fi connection when on the road.

I find text messaging by phone mostly irritating as recipient, and am dis-inclined to use it for sending information.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

But intra-office voice mail? Yeah, that would be potentially a huge time-hole for employees.

Sam L. said...

I don't do texting. My landline has a recorder, and my cellphone too--though it's erratic.

Beldar said...

My voicemail message -- on my cellphone that I use for both business and personal purposes -- includes a warning that I check it infrequently, and that I not infrequently delete voicemail messages by accident, especially if I don't recognize the number, and that especially for anyone who's a potential new client or otherwise in a hurry, they'd be better off emailing me. Then I recite my email address.

I wish I could get rid of my fax machine entirely.

Steve said...

What is this "land line" you speak of?

If I leave a voicemail for my adult children I start with a brief apology.