Voice Mail is “Ancient”

I love this article at StarTribune.com, “Voice-mail calls, but do we care?“.

The article goes to great length to fully diss this stone age technology (it’s almost as old as Star Wars!), but I can sum it up much more simply: voice mail sucks.

I know it’s sometimes not great for business, but I rarely check my voice mail. As a couple of subjects in the article remark, keeping up with more-efficient forms of communication like SMS (text messaging), IM (like AIM, GoogleTalk, and Skype) and even email (yuck!) take enough time. In the article, Yen Cheong, 32, a book publicist in New York, sums it up well:

“If you left a message, I have to dial in, dial in my code,” Cheong said. “Then I mess up and redial. Then once I hear the message, I need the phone number. I try to write it down, and then I have to rewind the message to hear it again,” she added, feigning exhaustion.

That’s just it. Voice mail is an incredibly clumsy, time-consuming process of communication that almost always ends up in frustration. And, typically, before I can respond to a voice mail message, I’ve been distracted by something else which is, more often than not, an email or text message.

Granted, Google Voice now offers voice-mail-to-email translation services. But it’s a flawed beast (even though so many other features of the service totally rock) and I have yet to receive one email from Google Voice that even remotely resembles the spoken verbiage of the original voice message.

It’s to the point for me that I communicate almost exclusively with friends, colleagues, and clients who have also adjusted to more modern forms of communication. The folks who rely on voice messaging are falling by the wayside, for better or for worse.

3 thoughts on “Voice Mail is “Ancient”

  1. On my iphone I just click on listen and if I need to call the person back, on the same screen is a button to do that. Nothing could be easier.

  2. Oh, so that is why you never call back.
    Of course I just don’t have voice mail, it is too too complicated in Macao. I can’t get to the phone in the 3 rings I am allowed to answer before the service picks up, so I cancelled.

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