I got a new iPhone about ten months ago. (My last one got stolen.) I dicked around with the settings. I set up e-mail, threw some apps on there, as one does. I figured I’d set up voicemail when I had a sec.
I’m still waiting for that sec.
If I call myself I still get the “Welcome to your new mailbox!” I really meant to set it up, but the problem is, I haven’t missed it.
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It turns out that I don’t really want my messages in the form of spoken words. It takes too long to listen to them. If there’s a number or an address in there, you have to write it down. Sometimes the reception fades in and out. The whole business of raising the phone to my ear and getting the message says to whoever I’m with, I’m not paying attention to you, I’m checking my messages.
It’s just not efficient. It takes all the inconvenient aspects of two-way communications and exports them to the world of one-way communication.
What I’m doing, by not setting up voicemail, is forcing people to text or email me. Whereupon I can glance at what they’ve sent me, quickly and unobtrusively, and take it in in one visual gulp. Whatever informational content is in there stays with me, for instant access, essentially forever. There’s probably a neat information-science way of putting this, but voicemail just seems hopelessly antiquated, like they’re snail-mailing me a wax cylinder of their voice.
So I’m calling it. Voicemail is over.
Get it? ‘Calling’ it? I just got that.
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