Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Can Happen To You In My Voicemail

I have a friend who refuses to text. She's not much for email communication either. Her Facebook profile is just that. A profile. Not much interaction. So except for the rare times we see each other I don't know much about what goes on in her life.

This poses a couple of problems. 

The voice mail she left on my cellphone the other day was listened to while I was on the run. She needed a mutual friend's address. Which I had and was happy to give her. 

The problem was I forgot until two days later when I saw her name in my list of recent calls. That can happen to voicemails. They can get lost - like socks in the dryer - if you don't keep your eyes on them.

I would have texted her the information but as I said - she doesn't text. So I emailed. Even though I know how slow she is to retrieve it. She didn't give me any other choice.

The truth is I don't have the time to return the phone call so I can read out loud - s-l-o-w-l-y - what she needs while she writes it down. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. 

The phone is just not an efficient use of my time. Yes, I still use it and think there are times when it is a refreshing choice and will make the most impact - but the list of people I speak to on the phone continues to shrink. It is reserved for my mother (who as you know has no computer), a few select friends and clients with money to spend. Even my brother who I am in communication with almost every single day over something having to do with Mom rarely gets a phone call or vice versa. But texting? All day. Every day.

According to Adam Singer at The Future Buzz,  the Harvard Business Review has decided ( as he had already) that voicemail is irrelevant. I would not go so far as to use the word irrelevant - but I would say - as I already did - that it is inefficient.

It's nice to hear someone's voice. I love getting on the phone for long visits with my friend in Australia and my cousins who live in California. I don't get to see them that often and it is a great and still relevant way for us to connect. But when I need a question answered or information and I need it now - I text or I email - depending exactly how urgent the request is. 

That's the beauty of digital technology - making your life easier.

Had she done that what she needed would have been delivered as soon as I read it. But she didn't. 

She's one of those people who pushes against the tide of change when it comes to communication. I suppose she thinks that will make it stop - but it won't. We're too far into the age of digital now. 

Which brings me to the second problem. She should know better.  She's a marketer. 

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