Down with Voicemail

Basically everyone under 35 is terrified of voicemail

Another quality of “digital natives:” fear of voicemail. I’ll admit, I don’t like them either, which is ironic, because I have been known to leave long ones from time to time, especially when I am driving (i.e. not wanting to text and drive) and have time to pontificate about some subject to a friend who refused to answer his/her phone. But as a general rule, a quick text that gets to the point is easier to manage than a VM.

I think it is interesting that digital natives fear voicemail because of the public speaking component. While I certainly believe that all students should have basic oral communication skills, the everyday application of those skills is becoming less and less crucial as we continue to move to a written/digital text-based society.

And before you old timers (i.e. anyone over the age of 30 — myself included) start lamenting the decline of oral communication, understand that this is not a new phenomenon. Less than a century ago, college examinations and reports were almost universally administered orally. Advances in printing technology, which made it much easier for exams to be duplicated and individuals to type papers, moved colleges to emphasize written skills over oral skills. Soon we won’t speak to each other at all.

Just no texting while driving, digital natives!


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