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Going Post-Voicemail


After enduring two years of eye-rolling every time I took out my once ¼ber-cool and now old-fashioned Razr cell phone, I let my sisters convince me to purchase a BlackBerry. The youngest one set up my email and ring tones, and introduced me to the time suck that is Brick Breaker. Then, I was on my own to nurture what has become quite the obsessive and loving relationship with what is all-at-once my calendar, camera, Internet, map, calculator, and I think if I hit the right combination of buttons, time machine. But there’s one function sis didn’t set up, which I’ve decided to abandon forever: voicemail.

First, I was too lazy. Then I lost the instructions. Then I thought a friend could set it up. But after a few weeks without having to listen to “Hi, it’s me! Ummm :” mumbles, wind-blowing, or a “I know it’s 2 a.m., but our song is playing!!” drunk dial with crowded-bar background noise, I’m a happier person. I’ve gone post-voicemail, and I think we should all go together.

With emails and text-messaging allowing you to say what you want without interruptions, and the recipient to respond likewise in their own sweet time, voicemail is going the way of the dinosaur. Or the beeper. Historically speaking, voicemail was invented for landline phones so that if you missed someone while they weren’t home, you could leave a message “with your name and number after the beep,” and they could call you back. Now our cell phones are with us at all times. If I don’t pick up your call, it’s because I’m busy and can’t talk (or don’t want to talk to you). With caller ID, I’ll know you called, and assuming I want to know why, take the initiative to call you back.

People ask, “But what if it’s important?” Well, if it’s that important, you’ll keep calling until I pick up or call you back. Right? I don’t think anyone is going to leave a “Hey, the house is on fire. Just an FYI” message.

But even if you wanted to, you couldn’t on my phone!

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