Why Millennials don’t like to use Voicemail

Just yesterday a company called and left me a voicemail. My Voice app transcribed the message and sent it to me via text. The company wanted me to fax them a signed document. I then faxed them a hi-res snapshot of the document using the Tiny Fax app. At no point did I engage my number pad.

Like many art forms, the art of the voicemail has been replaced with a more convenient practice: text messaging. A 2014 Gallup poll confirms that texting outranks phone calling as the leading form of communication among those aged 18 to 49. Text Request reports only 20% of people check their voicemail, and as far back as 2013, Rex Huppke states in a piece in the Chicago Tribune questioning the necessity of voicemail that voicemail “has become an archaic means” of delivering messages.

Why the voicemail hate among millennials?

1. Too Time Consuming

In an age where the president can tweet legislation, causing rippling global repercussions in seconds, wasting time to leave or retrieve a voicemail seems ludicrous when a comparably instant text is a viable option.

A reddit poster puts it best:

My frustration when checking voice mail:

"Please enter your password."

"You have...One...Unheard message. To listen to the message press 1."

presses 1

"Your message from 3...2...3...8...6...7...5...3...0...9 sent Thursday... April 2nd... at... 2:30 pm"

My friend: "hey call me back". 

So I spent two minutes for a three second message.

2. The System is Antiquated


If a caller leaves a voicemail with pertinent information or instructions, are they expecting the receiver to memorize it or to write it down with an actual writing utensil? Texted information allows for the cut-and-paste of pertinent info, which cuts down on haste-induced mistakes. 

3. Generally Inconvenient

My grandfather reminisces on walking ten miles to school as I login to an online course on my phone. Such is the progression of distance communication. Millennials grew up alongside the emergence of the Internet and the culture of urgency, concision and convenience it introduced. A millennial told The Wall Street Journal that calling someone without prior texting disrespects the receiver’s time, forcing them to be inconvenienced. According to a CM Telecom represented, the average text is about 92 characters, and with words averaging five characters, that puts the average text at under twenty words, ensuring instant, practical and convenient message conveyance 

Though the Comeback blames millennials for the advent of Job-Hopping and Selfie-obsession, the death of the voicemail is a crime any millennial would defend.