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‘Wait For the Beep’ Has Gone The Way of the Rotary Phone

Millennials have given up on leaving voice mails. Why? Because it is totally unnecessary.

Yes, the answering machine and the voice mail are dying. If they’re not dead already. Next to go? Actual conversations.

The New York Times is the latest media outlet saying that the idea of leaving a voice mail is dying a slow death and will be gone in our lifetime.  That makes it a short lived phenomenon, much like the Compact Disc and MySpace.

Home answering machines first emerged on the scene in the late ’70s, and later shifted to cell phones as “voice mail” in the late ’90s.

I can remember being chastised by my co-workers in the mid-2000s for not setting up the voice mail on my phone. My response was always “it doesn’t serve any purpose”.  I finally set up my voice mail. I’m still waiting for any of those people to leave me a message.

According to the article in the New York Times:

“It seems more practical to text or email. The only reason you leave a voice mail is so the person can hear the sound of your voice. It almost seems presumptuous, for that reason.”

As she suggested, there’s also the understandable matter of efficiency. A missed-call notification on a cellphone can be its own request for a call back. A “Call me” text will likely be read more quickly than a voice mail message will be heard, and if the matter is urgent, multiple missed calls may declare that most vociferously.

So you can add leaving an impeccably worded voice mail to the list of things that your kids will never do. Also on the list: Cooking from scratch, sewing, canning, ironing clothes (properly), meeting people without using the Internet, haggling, and writing beautiful handwritten letters.


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