More Notes on the Decline of Voice Mail

Once upon a time voice mail was the killer app. But as a new generation evolves, the messaging medium is being abandoned for another that’s much more efficient: text messaging.

“More than 30 percent of voice mail messages remain unheard for three days or longer, according to uReach Technologies,” an article on Boston.com explains (At the tone, please don’t leave a message).

And I, personally, find the habits of two of the articles’ subjects indicative of the contemporary effectiveness of voice mail:

“Brian Walshe, 32 … keeps his phone’s mailbox full to ward off new messages.”

“Ja-Nae Duane, 32 … deletes many of her voice mails without even listening.”

And the article cites these figures from a Opinion Research Corporation survery done for Sprint:

Those under the age of 30 are four times more likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice mail. Adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice message…

Only at age 65, reports the survey, does voice mail return to favour.

Statistics like these, along with what I’ve observed of the habits of those around me, indicate that for younger people voice mail is on the way out. The more succinct medium, text messaging, is replacing it.