April 02, 2009
Voice Communication Increasingly Obsolete?

Hey, I'd rather get an SMS text message or an email than a phone call to, say, remind me of a dentist's appointment or tell me I was late sending in a Census survey. Voice is so slow. People leave meandering voice mails that they think thru while they are recording their message. Written communication saves time and it is easier to back up in to review a particular point. Turns out a lot of people prefer to read text messages over listening to voice mails. Will future trans-humans use genetic engineering to remove our genes for vocal chords? Better to just implant text messaging computer chips in our brains.

Research shows that people take longer to reply to voice messages than other types of communication. Data from uReach Technologies, which operates the voice messaging systems of Verizon Wireless and other cellphone carriers, shows that over 30 percent of voice messages linger unheard for three days or longer and that more than 20 percent of people with messages in their mailboxes "rarely even dial in" to check them, said Saul Einbinder, senior vice president for marketing and business development for uReach, in an e-mail message.

By contrast, 91 percent of people under 30 respond to text messages within an hour, and they are four times more likely to respond to texts than to voice messages within minutes, according to a 2008 study for Sprint conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation.

I hear anecdotes like sisters who text message each other at the dinner table with their parents sitting there. It is a way to make conversations more private. I'd like to know how the text messaging addicts, TV watching addicts, and electronic game playing addicts differ in personality and intelligence and testosterone levels.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 April 02 11:53 PM  Comm Tech Society

Brett Bellmore said at April 5, 2009 1:57 PM:

I rarely listen to my voice mail promptly, but you know why? It's because I've got caller ID, and I directly call back the missed caller who left the message, and talk to them. "Listening" to the voice mail is just a matter of going to my mailbox and deleting the darned messages accumulating there.

Al said at April 10, 2009 1:59 PM:

There are too many caveats to include which woudl indicated flaws in studies.
I always listen to my landline answering machine.
Never to cell VM. Cell VM access is too complex.
But I also NEVER use SMS.
I use email, and make a habit of NEVER responding until two hours have passed
(to take off any emotional edge).
But for immediacy and nuance and give-n-take - voice (no message) still rules.

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