The death of voice mail?

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

texting

“Hi there Honey. I just wanted to let you know that I’m running over to the grocery store to pick up some items for tonight’s dinner. I should be back around five. Talk with you then,” I dictated into my daughter’s voicemail… about four years ago.

Why should I lament about a voice mail that I left four years ago? Well, I write about an old voice mail because I doubt that it was ever retrieved. You see, kids these days don’t care for voice mail. In my case, my daughter went from being a child to an adolescent in that time period, but her steadfast silent opposition to voice mail has remained in place. Evidently my daughter is not alone. Her generation eschews voice mail. Texting is the way to go, the social observers say.

Evidently, Coca-Cola received the memo on this “voice-mail-less trend” and are doing away with the now rather-dated technology of leaving vocal messages on a device. Both text and e-mail are the options for future communication and/or correspondence. About six percent of the Atlanta-based company’s workforce will continue to employ voice mail, but the majority of the corporation is disconnecting the service from all landlines.

While voice mail “traditionalists” are scoffing at the decision, others are applauding it. The advantage of directing communication to text and e-mail is that key information is already transcribed for the receiver. Indeed the sender has to put in the effort to type, but the benefits outweigh the so-called hassle of text or e-mail production.

I would have to say that the move to text and e-mail communication is up there with medical electronic records. Vital information is already transcribed and ready for use and storage. I believe that fewer mistakes occur when relying on written communication rather than a voice message where the caller spews out a litany of too much unnecessary information – in most cases.

Critics point out that Coca-Cola will only save a little less than $100,000 annually, but that’s not the point nor is this about “worker productivity,” although there are many who would disagree. The point is that fewer mistakes will occur when folks are supplied with important text information.

Perhaps Millennials like my daughter are ahead of the curve with the “voice-mail-less trend,” but I’m sure that there are folks who just cannot let go of relying on vocal communication. Those folks who like to speak on the phone, love the live human interaction that it provides. They have a point, but in personal lives and business, texting and e-mail are a time-saver. How many times has one listened to a voice-mail with too much extra banter? Let’s not forget how sketchy the quality is on voice mail, but it’s awful on traditional answering machines where the person sounds like something out of a “Charlie Brown” TV special. OK, I’m sounding crusty when it comes to all of this, but this is reality.

About four years ago, I purchased a texting plan and never looked back. No longer has my daughter been subjected to my lengthy voice mail messages. They have been replaced by my detailed texts where vital information is exchanged. For the most part, I’m pretty decent at text production, especially with voice command through my mobile phone. OK, I have to go. It seems that I have another text that I need to send. “Hi there Honey, I just picked up kale, oranges, pumpkin pie filling, canned corn and soy milk. I’ll be back around 6p EST. How was your day? What did you do at school? Did you hear from anyone today? My day was quite hectic. The drive back was wrought with a truck fire near the Buford-Spring Connector.” My daughter’s text response came in one hour later with this message: “Yeah.”

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