Yesterday, I received a voicemail on my smartphone.
It was a number I couldn’t recognise. I simply ignored it because I think it could be a call coming from a telemarketer.
It is year 2018. Who still uses voicemail these days, I wonder.
Is it redundant?
To communicate with someone, more than 90% of people of whom I know prefer SMS texting to voicemail. If you were to use voice mail, you have to go through a few steps in order to get that message. So why the inconvenience?
I believe texting is the most preferred mode of communication among people these days, other than telephone calls.
I think there are 5 reasons why most of us prefer texting over leaving a voice mail.
We all want to get things fast.
Voice messages are not very long yet, however the bit of extra time and the steps required to retrieve that little piece of information from the voice mailbox could be a big turn-off.
Having said that, there is still a slight chance that there is an important message waiting for you yet you turn it off before the voice message starts playing.
Who are the people who would leave you voice mail?
There’s your mother – maybe your grandmother – who rambles on about how she just wanted to check and see how things are going on with you? But wait, mothers these days are quite IT-savvy. They know how to text us over Whatsapp!
Or it could be that financial services consultant whom you met at a roadshow recently, hoping to do a follow-up call with you, after completing a form.
When someone close to us wants to get in touch, they either message us on social media or text us. As such when you see a voicemail, you know that the caller who left you a voicemail, is someone whom you hardly knows, and this person is outside your social circles.
At that point, so why bother getting back to that caller?
3. Difficult to hear
How many times are we self-conscious about others overhearing our calls and voice messages, or we had to leave a room because it was too noisy?
Texting is so much easier. Furthermore, it is visual communication. People understand better when they could read words.
How many times do I have to replay a voice message to understand totally what was said, or to write down an important phone number? This is a big hassle, and text messaging provides a simple EASY solution.
This is difficult for people who are hearing-challenged like myself.
4. Still makes you write a message
A message should be something which upon receiving it, you can instantly run along with, not something which you have to replay 3 or 4 times ,and still have to take notes.
Wheras on the other hand, if somebody texts me, I already gotten a written record of everything which I need to know, and the number to contact that person. In addition, I can also keep an unlimited number of texts saved, instead of dialling the voicemail number to clear my voice mailbox messages frequently.
5. No urgency to retrieve voicemail
Haha. If it is not urgent, I think most of us are just going to forget about it. Totally.
If someone can’t answer your call, there is a HIGH chance that they won’t be listening to your voice mail soon either.
Most text messages are read within 3 minutes, and hence the receipient can decide whether to pay attention to that message immediately or leave it for replying later.
In short, I won’t be sad if voicemail goes one day. It is not helpful in our daily lives nowadays.