steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

At the Beep, Beep Off

Some people hate voicemail, and I don't know why.

My daughter is one such. Despite having a voicemail greeting on her phone inviting callers to leave a message she makes a point of never listening to them, and feels that this is both normal and obviously justified behaviour. When asked why, she suggests something on the lines of voicemail being ridiculously cumbersome and time-consuming, making its use an antisocial imposition on the poor phone-owner. And so I suppose it is, if you have a vanishingly small amount of patience, in the same way that actually talking to people can be, but this hardly explains the totality or vehemence of her opposition.

If the message is a simple one, like "What time will you be home for dinner?" I'll normally text rather than leave a voicemail, knowing her preferences. But not all messages are that straightforward. What if I want to know her choice from a variety of menu options, and whether she'd like to bring a friend round and whether, if so, they're vegetarian, etc.? I could do that much more quickly as a voice message than via a text. Is it really unreasonable to do so - especially as replying in kind to such a text would be almost equally onerous?

I thought perhaps it was just my daughter and her immediate circle who felt this way, but when I recently spoke to a friend of mine in her mid-20s, I watched in surprise as her hands instinctively bunched into fists at the very mention of the V word. Like my daughter, she felt - she knew - that to use voicemail was to be commit a terrible faux pas. More, it was to be a terrible person.

How widespread is this antipathy, and what is the reason for it? Is it perhaps a generational thing? Any explanations gratefully received below.
Tags: real life
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