“Once upon a time, voice mail was useful,” said Yen Cheong, 32, a book publicist in New York who has transitioned almost entirely to e-mail and text messaging. According to her calculation, it takes 7 to 10 steps to check a voice mail message versus zero to 3 for an e-mail.
“If you left a message, I have to dial in, dial in my code,” Ms. Cheong said. “Then I mess up and redial. Then once I hear the message, I need the phone number. I try to write it down, and then I have to rewind the message to hear it again,” she added, feigning exhaustion.
Yglesius comments, and represents the views of many, including me:
If you leave a message on my cell phone, I might get back to you one of these days. If you leave a message on my office voicemail, forget about it. I’m not even entirely sure I know how to check it. Definitely the whole time I was employed at The Atlantic I never once returned a voicemail. I figure that anyone who’s really eager to get in touch with me will email me. In general, I’m not a fan of talking on the phone, but listening to recorded messages of other people talking to me on the phone is absolutely the worst.
Plus, it is me, or has phone reception generally — with both landlines and cell phones — gotten gradually worse and worse over the past, oh, 15 years?