Is Texting the New Voicemail?

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  • September 14, 2012
  • INK Team

This blog post comes from INK intern Rachael S.

Our society thrives on developments in technology. With Apple’s recent announcement, the company reaffirms our need to have the next best thing. Sadly, there’s another technology no longer needed, but instead following in the footsteps of Polaroid film and VHS tapes: voicemail.

Starting in the late 1970s, voicemail was all the rage, allowing people to leave personalized audio messages for neighbors two houses down to family members 500 miles away. But it seems voicemail is dying. According to USA Today, Vonage saw an eight percent decline in voicemail usage this July compared to a year ago. So what’s causing voicemail’s demise? One answer is texting.

Texting has been around for more than a decade, but in recent years, smart phones have become a major player for texting. Whether you’re an avid texter or not, smart phones have replaced the need to communicate messages via voicemail. Gone are the days of using T9 (text on 9 keys). Most smart phones have built-in keyboards or have a virtual assistant who can text for you, such as Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s S Voice. There are even apps available that offer free text messaging services. For more information about free texting apps, check out Mashable’s article.

Texting may not be as personal as hearing a voicemail from a loved one, but it’s quick and normally initiates an immediate response (unless you’re classified as a “bad texter,” in which case you’re doomed). But all jokes aside, texting could be the next voicemail.

Still not on board with texting? Try video chat apps (another voicemail decline factor), which provide you with a phone call-like template through face-to-face communication via your smart phone, tablet or computer. If you still prefer voicemail, give texting or video chatting a try because voicemail could soon be sitting on a dusty shelf alongside Polaroid film and VHS tapes.