Yes, I realise I do not often fit in the demographic description of my generation and gender: I have always preferred everything digital, I am an introvert and a girl, some say a geek too, and, where possible, in the past 25 years, I have always tried to avoid voice calls in favour of any other digital channel.
So, last week I was in a meeting, at work, and got a Whatsapp notification from my nephew. She’s 21, a fashion blogger and university student, and incidentally also my kids’ baby sitter, so whenever I get a message from her during kids’time, it means it’s important and might also be an emergency. Finally I resolve, at the cost of looking very rude towards the person who is presenting in the meeting, to pick up the smartphone and check the message.
Imagine my reaction when _said_ message revealed itself to be a jaw-dropping, head-spinning, plain old voice message.
Obviously I couldn’t open it during the meeting, whereas any text message would have just taken half a glance to see its content and react. Also, I clearly felt like I just didn’t understand why. Why a voice message? I thought these died back in 2004 when I disabled my mobile voice mail and stopped using it altogether. I thought I got rid of voice because this generation is the native digital and is online 24-7, and so …why voice?
I cleared my throat, slipped the phone in my pocket and excused myself out of the meeting, then went to the restroom to play the bloody message: “Hi Paola, nothing urgent, I thought I better left you a voice message since I have too many things to tell you about the upcoming week’s appointments……”.
This is why – the answer is: laziness. Or, if you want, convenience and speed of a voice message against a typed one. Still.
I frantically typed back to never ever ever again send me a voice message when at work, because it scared me to death and took five of the longest minutes of my life to get its content, while a typed message would have been much quicker and easier, especially for NBD stuff.
She didn’t understand, she said. It’s a message so implicitly it means it’s not urgent. Otherwise she would have called. Plus, she’s not quick at typing (despite the fact she’s probably faster than me) so she prefers voice messages and all of her friends do it, too.
WTF. This is one of those moments when you know you don’t like the lesson you are being taught, but you still need to learn it. So I started paying attention around me and found them: young people that seem talking otp but are really listening to offline messages. Kids recording funny messages and sending them through social media sites. It is out there and I didn’t even realise it until it hit me in the face.
The Voice Message is back – who would have thought?