The Death of Voice Mail.

Stick a fork in it. Voice mail - that handy dandy leave a message system that is preprogrammed into all of our cell phones - is dead. A goner. Pushing up dasies. Making the final call from the horizontal phone booth. You get the idea. It is over.

Here's the deal - I don't know anyone who doesn't roll their eyes or smack their forehead with their open palm when they see they've got a voice mail. Possible exceptions would be iPhone users, who like to point out that they have visual voice mail (although it's not entirely visual - they still have to listen to it. The big plus in visual voice mail is you can decide which ones to skip with greater ease than the 'press 3' option).

At the end of the day, visual voice mail helps you do what you want to do with voice mail - ignore them, but with greater flexibility. I'm beyond prioritizing them. I'm ready to ignore them all.

I generally get two kinds a voice mail...the person who says "Hey, call me back...." OR the person who leaves an unintelligible message, sounding like they are talking under water - "I'm at glubbu bug glub with blubblub until glubphoo. What do you blubagroo ink should glooo? Call me back....".

Allow me to give you a synopsis of every voice mail ever left in the history of cell phones: "Call me back." Well thanks. I can figure that one out by looking at the missed calls log. I don't need to listen to you and press the delete button. Besides, 90% of the people I really need to communicate with on a daily basis would never leave me a voice mail. They text me, blackberry message me, or email me (and I'm working on a fix for that too....a different post, but let's say praise ye the Lord for filters and gmail forwarding...).

So today I killed my voice mail. Actually, I didn't even give it the dignity of doing the deed myself. I took out a contract on it. I had my assistant kill it for me. She called the cell phone company this afternoon and said "The voice mail....can you just turn it off? Yes. Off. He doesn't want it."

Awkward silence...finally, the customer service rep said "He's got a Blackberry and he doesn't want the voice mail?"

"um, yes...." she said. "It's not the strangest thing about him..." she thought (but didn't say).

Probably true, but at least I don't need to listen to glublba blu glub callgla me blubback anymore.


Jae said...

THANK YOU!! I do have an iPhone and regardless of the visual voice mail -- I still hate it! I never listen to it. If I see you called, I'll call you back. How hard is that?

I love their reaction, though.

Ronni said...

AMEN! I'll check my VM to find out I have 10 messages up to 2 weeks old. If they don't show up on my caller id, or they didn't text me... they probably don't really need me that bad. LOL. And very few have my "real" email.

Brian said...

I totally agree. I have a blackberry and have never had voice mail. Be free, bro!

Ryan Detzel said...

I've been preaching this same message for years now. And with all of our new ways to be communicated with...voicemail has to be the least of these.

"Hey, give me a call me back when you get a chance. Bye."

chuck said...

I have a similar apprehension toward text messaging on cell phones. I mean, it's a phone for crying out loud! I actually saw a couple texting each other, in the same room. In that case it would be better to walk over and have a conversation.

Texting has it's place in meetings and church (the other meeting). You know, the places where you are asked to turn off your phone.

Cindy Schmidt said...

Seriously- like 20+ years AFTER phone messages were invented who really needs that voice mail lady to tell you to leave a mesage after the beep????? I have been leaving voice mail messages over half my life and the system has NEVER changed!! I want that 3 seconds per call added back onto my life span and I want that voice mail lady to give it a rest...Arrggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!

Ava's Mama said...

What a marvelous idea! I actually almost never leave a message because I can't bear to listen to them. I only leave a message if it contains information. Enjoy your freedom...the liberation from that chain around your ankle!

Maybe I'll change the message on my voice mail to say that messages should only be left if they contain important information. There is no need to leave a message asking that I return the call. I will return missed calls anyway...just as soon as my house is clean, the kids are asleep (in their dorms at college) and I am retired on a beach!

Jillian said...

i found it sick and ironic that today blackberries plummeted in regards to service---and suddenly, i was forced to be that girl, "um, hello...this is me and you can call me back at..."i realized i don't even hardly remember my number because of all this texting and what not...i will find no shame in reverting to carrier pigeons if i must!!!

oh my!

portorikan said...

I'm with you although I won't be turning mine off.

Most people never leave a message, or if you actually leave them a detailed message (this is the one that gets me), they actually never listen to it. Here's how it goes...

*beep* I leave detailed messages.

*ring* (me) hey, what's up?

other: I saw you called.

me: cool, did you hear my message?

other: no, just saw I had a missed call.

me: Well allow me to repeat myself...

Now, I just hang up and send a text message. I encourage others to do the same.