Has The Humble Voicemail Gone To Meet Its Maker?
And you thought my collection of beepers was obsolete
The year was 1994, Wet Wet Wet’s ‘Love is all around’ was the number one song played on multi-disc CD players around the country, the North Melbourne Giants had just won the NBL Grand Final and, more importantly, Telstra revolutionized the world of communication introducing the MessageBank service.
‘Hello 1994? I’d like to order some Muncheros’
Suddenly, the phone ringing out for hours and you giving up wasn’t the only option you had - now you could leave a message and your friend or family member could listen back to that message and call you back! The world was connected… the world was good.
But over the years, the voicemail has become the second banana to so many other more convenient communication options - you have your text, your WhatsApp, your Facebook Messenger and of course your Google Doc Chat.
The Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey found that in 2016, 27 per cent of Aussies made fewer than one call a week and would rather use text-based communication instead.
Experts have said that text-based communication is definitely becoming the more popular option among younger uses. Professor Robert Hassan from the University of Melbourne studies the interaction between computers and humans.
"Voicemail is no longer seen as appropriate or relevant to the younger With no With With generation… It takes time, it’s clunky and people don’t want to communicate like that anymore," Professor Robert Hassan told the Sydney Morning Herald.
It rings true, the immediacy of a text is far superior to the annoyance of a voicemail, which usually just contains information that could have been sent to you in a text anyway.
Plus, a voicemail is limited in what it can deliver, as Monash lecturer Dr Brady Robards explained to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Texting is easier and sometimes can be more rich. You can send links, photos, videos, and other kinds of content.”
So, stop leaving voicemails, send a text or hey… maybe go talk to someone face to face, I think that’s a thing people still do.