For many of us, the rise of texting means that we don’t need to stutter our way through embarrassing voicemails – and that’s taking a toll on the number of voicemails that are being left. According to research Vonage provided for USA Today, this July saw an 8% drop in left voicemails from the year before, and a 14% drop in voicemails that were listened to by people who received them. Of course, the research covers only Vonage customers, but something’s clearly up (well, down) with voicemail. USA Today is pointing to texts and transcription services (which convert audio voicemails to text) as the culprits.
We can think of a few other reasons to type instead of talk. For one thing, you don’t have to have a conversation with someone when you text – you can remind your friend about dinner tonight without wasting time on a phone call, for example. Or, you might want to avoid eating up minutes on your carrier’s voice plan, à la David Pogue’s ‘Take Back the Beep’ campaign. After all, those voicemail instructions cost you more than your patience and wasted time – they eat up minutes on your cell phone bill.