http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/fashion/02voicemail.html?pagewanted=1

This article reminded me to check the messages that I’ve been putting off since the beginning of April.
While I do agree that voicemail is annoying and I would rather not have to listen to it, there is a specific reason most of the time when I put off listening to my messages. There is one specific person who always leaves voicemails that make me cry. Once there’s a message from this person, I will put off listening until another one that could have content comes in. In April, this person left a message, and the next two messages were left by my grandparents. I called my family back and told them that I hadn’t listened to the messages yet, but what did they need?
Just now, I finally checked the messages. It turns out the message I had been avoiding listening to was just a couple seconds of silence, and then a click. How was I to know?
After listening to the messages from my family, I went back and listened to all the messages I had saved. There was a comical one from a friend, many cute ones from my significant other, and birthday wishes from both friends and family. There was even an adorable message from my two-year-old sister, where I could hear my mom in the background saying things for her to repear. These saved messages remind me why I used to love getting voicemails.
In the article listed above, mention is made of products designed to transform voice messages into text. For messages that are simply about the transferral of information, this would be a lovely innovation. My emails go to my phone already, so I would be able to easily address the problems at hand. However, reading a message from my mother’s cell phone that says “Hi Re, Love you Re, Bye Re” would not have nearly the same effect as hearing my baby sister’s voice. There’s a reason I have these messages saved, and that’s to listen to the voices of people I care about when I’m feeling down. For the past two months I’ve been unable to do this because I was afraid of that one message. I actually forgot about all the wonderful messages I had saved.
So, while voice-to-text services would be great in some situations, the majority of the voicemails I receive are these fun ones. I like the idea, but am unsure of practicality. 

Divide in Voicemail Culture by Marie Hicks, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

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