Should voicemail be killed off?
Should voicemail be killed off?

‘Makes me panic so much’: Should voicemail be killed off?

DO YOU still leave voicemails?

If you've shunned the practice and squirm at the thought of having to leave a message after the tone, you're not alone.

Millennials might be known as the selfie generation, obsessed with their smartphone - but they probably don't want you to tell them about it in a recorded message.

Invented by IBM's Stehphen Boies in 1973, voicemail was a defining tech feature of its time. It was officially called the Speech Filing System and allowed users to leave recorded messages to be picked up when the recipient dialled in.

To understand just how revolutionary voicemail was, it wasn't until 2001 that the number of e-mails sent surpassed the number of voicemails, according to Alan Marcus who shared the fun fact in his book Technology in America: A Brief History.

But every dog has its day and it sounds like the days of the voicemail could be numbered.

Best-selling author Matt Haig triggered a wave of calls to ban voicemail with a viral tweet last month, prompting heated discussion on the all important matter.

"I vote to ban voicemails," was all the tweet said.



The brevity and succinctness of the argument clearly struck a chord with a number of social media users who threw their support behind the tongue-in-cheek idea.

Many described the sense of dread that comes over them when they realise they've got a voicemail waiting.

"It's literally like an order of anxiety. Sounds so irrational but it honestly makes me panic so much," one Twitter user replied.

"I vote to ban talking on the phone completely. I loathe it ... and I rarely listen to voicemail," said another.

Others said they thought the function of voicemail had grown obsolete with so many other ways to pass on your message.

"When people can already reach me by text, Whatsapp, work email, personal email, Twitter DMs, Instagram DMs, Facebook Messenger, snail mail and phone, why leave a voicemail," one Twitter user wrote.

Another person complained of that annoying moment when you're stuck listening to a long message with no one talking.

"Voicemails are awful. 99% of them is your dad pocket dialling you from the shops," they said.

One commenter said he had "already banned" voicemail by changing his outgoing message to tell people he won't listen to the voicemail if they leave one.

Despite a number of people explaining the anxiety inducing quality of voicemail, some still championed the message system.

"Disagree. Prefer a voicemail to a text. Wonder what people have done in the past to make them anxious when they get a voicemail notification," one man replied.

As for Mr Haig who started the whole thing, he expressed bemusement at the level of debate sparked by his online musings (his tweet even made it on US breakfast TV show Good Morning America).

"If my legacy is the end of voicemail I will die satisfied," he joked.

So is it finally time to give voicemail the flick?

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