Before chat apps and smartphones, we had two ways of sending a message to someone using a phone. One, a person can leave a voicemail in an old fashioned phone that comes with a tape recorder or through the provider’s digital voicemail system (btw, it was SO advanced then). Second, one can go through the painful process of typing one letter at a time through a numbers pad.
These days, our communication has transitioned over to typing on our phone or tablet screens, or typing in the same apps (e.g., WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Kakao, WeChat, etc) on the keyboard of our laptops. Even though these apps today offer a function where we can leave voice messages, I know few people who use it outside of China. The art of the voice messages have been lost.
Here is why I prefer voice over text messages. First, we speak faster than we type. Though it takes time to listen, in my experience, the overall conversation is much faster with voice. I have often replaced 30 min meetings with 2 or 3 back and forth voice messages that are less than 5 minutes of recorded messages. Second, the sound of our voice, the volume, the intonation, the pauses, and all of the wonderful aspects of human speech contain so much more emotion and meaning that no emoji’s or words can convey. Lastly, leaving a voice message requires thinking and structuring the message. If I invest the time to prepare the message to keep it concise, I learned that it has helped me become more clear with my thinking.
So, don’t be surprised if the first message you ever receive from me comes in the form of a voice message.