Voicemail? Who Uses Voicemail Any More?

from the so-last-millennium dept

Could it be that voicemail is going to become a cultural marker of a generation? Just 25 years after voicemail was invented, new studies suggest that kids have lost interest in it. Instead, they use SMS or IM to communicate if the person isn’t available to talk via voice (and often, even if they are). The suggestion is that the younger generation doesn’t believe in time shifting communication, but wants answers right away. In other words, they want synchronous communication, and realize that the tools given to them make that possible. Tools that delay communication, then, are of less interest. Anyone want to bet that this impacts email as well? So, perhaps a few years from now, people making use of voicemail will seem dated.

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Comments on “Voicemail? Who Uses Voicemail Any More?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

So what?

So kids have lost interest. And the point is… ? Kids have to grow up and join the business world, and they will find that life in the business world is quite a bit different from life in high school, or even college.

Voice mail serves a useful business function. As long as it does, it will remain, regardless of whether spoiled teenagers have lost interest or not.

Welcome to the real world.

Mark says:

Re: So what?

A lot of the younger workers in my business call and never leave a message. A few minutes later I’ll get an email or text from them with their message; I actually prefer this.

I don’t have to reply right away and if their message is buried in a mountain of messages, it’s searchable, so I can look them up specifically or for all messages pertaining to the same subject (or at least have a same key word).

Voice mail might be offer a richer message (emotions, more information faster) but the usability of a text-based message is much more appealing in my opinion.

Anonymous Coward says:

personally I hate VM

I didn’t mind VM so much when you pushed a button and all your messages were spat out at you, but now you have to dial a number (well actually 10), put in you pin (another 4 numbers), navigate the menu, remember which system you’re navigating (home or cell? does 7 delete or 4?)it’s a pain in the ass. Generally I no longer like anything having to do with phones. I prefer email or IM. Either is less of an intrusion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: personally I hate VM

“you have to dial a number (well actually 10), put in you pin (another 4 numbers), navigate the menu, remember which system you’re navigating (home or cell? does 7 delete or 4?)it’s a pain in the ass.”

I’ve never liked voicemail for exactly this reason. I have an old-fashioned answering machine at home (well, it’s digital so not THAT old-fashioned), with a play button and an erase button. No annoying menus to navigate unless I’m phoning in from elsewhere.

I’ve never had to use my cellphone’s voicemail because, well, it’s a cell and I always have it with me.

RJD says:

Personal view point

Well, I don’t consider myself young, much closer to 50 than 30, I find the primary reason for avoiding voice mail is it’s analog nature. Basically, the important part of the message is generally two or three sentences, often buried at the end of the message, that you are interested in. I don’t want to have to sit through the first X number of seconds waiting to get to the point. And often, you have to listen to the message more than once which makes it all that more painful.

On the other hand, with an email, I can get right to the heart of the message and if I have to review it, it’s instant access. So much better than voice mail is or probably can every become (voice search and access is a ways away).

As far as Instant messaging, text messaging, etc, I’ve learned to hate it. The sender does expect an instant response and often, you don’t want to ‘talk’ to that person … isn’t that what voice mail, and now email, is all about ? The facility to respond at your leisure, not the other persons ?

There’s also a comfort and familiarity factor involved. I pretty much demand email for my correspondence from my colleagues and use it as my first and almost exclusive form of communicating with others. However, my department head is pretty much exclusively a phone and voice mail kinda guy. I know if I want to get his attention, a voice mail or message will find him much sooner than he will find the email.

Some of the phone services are starting to get this idea as well that many folks choose different forms of communication and they’ve started aggragating them such that you can get them and receive them all with your choice and not some one elses.

Communications: a professional occupation that will never die; only transform.

Asynchronous Voicemail Boy says:

I want Asynchronous, non-secure communication

Imagine this scenario:

Your wife phones you, you are not at your desk. After three rings (or less), it goes “Speak!”

She says “Pick up milk on the way home”.

You get back from the can, go to your desk, and press the “Listen” button. You immediately hear your wife’s message. No passwords, no pins, no dialing, nuthing.

Next, you press the “respond” button, and you hear “SPEAK!”. You say “OK!”, and hang up.

You listen to her message at your leisure, and she to yours.

No muss, no fuss.

This would work great for cell phones.

The key is instant access to the message, and “one click respond”.

The way it is now is pathetic and frustrating and time wasting and THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!!!!

Viki says:


I appreciate all forms of comminication. Voicemail has its advantages as they are delivred straight to my email address. I don’t use my cell phone carrier’s voicemail as I like separating everything.

Text-Messaging can be nice amongst the family, friends, relatives but I would not want my boss to sms me.

As for email, I usually use it for either professional purpose or for international correspondance.

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