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posted by LaminatorX on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the Televox dept.

Duane D. Stanford reports at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big campany to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use “an alternative method” to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. “People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail,” says Michael Schrage. “People under 35 scarcely ever use it.” Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. “Many people in many corporations simply don’t have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day,” says Schrage, In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they’re better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who’s called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Common Joe on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:31PM

    by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:31PM (#128890) Journal

    I'm floored by how many people are happy with the death of voice mail.

    First of all, many people don't reply back to texts or emails. Ever. It's a horrible way to connect with a lot of people. And if they aren't answering their phone for a few hours, how can you flag something as "Important and Pay attention to me"? Voice mails were my big red flag that something important was going on.

    When I program or go out with my wife or read a book or watch a movie, I disconnect from the world. No texts. No email. No IMing. No IRC. No Skyping. I want to focus on what I'm doing and I don't want distraction. Phone is the only way to get a hold of me. (And it better be important.)

    When I'm at work and I'm in the zone, the only way to get a hold of me is by calling my desk. I don't want to be interrupted except for emergencies. Sure, when I'm out of the zone, I'll turn everything back on. (In a meeting? Phone off.)

    [Rant] I know I live in a world that does things differently than I do, but I feel there are too many ways to communicate with people. I prefer email. A friend of mine only checks email once a week and says to get a hold of her via Facebook. I hate Facebook. Another friend only uses Whatsapp and doesn't use email or Facebook at all. Because of financial reasons, I can't afford a smart phone so Whatsapp is out for me. (It makes getting hold of him difficult.) My parents don't respond to anything Internet related. I have friends all over the world and I've found it's impossible to keep track of who uses what when the new fad comes along every 3 years and fragments things worse.

    I always imagined that calling someone and leaving a voice mail was the one thing that held people together. I suppose I should have taken the hint when one of my brothers (younger than me) stopped listening to my voice mails and just started calling me back instead.[/Rant]

    Ok, kids. You can get off my lawn now. Man, I feel like a dinosaur.

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  • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:54PM

    by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday December 24 2014, @12:54PM (#128894)

    My friends and colleagues all get and respond to email. Some of them will also use Google Hangouts. I know they use the fad social media stuff too, but we all communicate that way unless it's an emergency. The simple presence of a phone call is a symbol it's important. No one leaves me a voice mail, because I'm going to call back immediately so that I know what the situation is and how it's changed since god knows when the voice mail actually happened.

    My parents use email, but prefer phone calls. I oblige them, but as a rule both sides keep it on speakerphone or earpieces so that we can keep working on whatever we were doing prior to the interruption. I love them, but I'm not about to stop soldering to hold a cinderblock with a speaker in it up to my ear to chat.

    Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:52PM

      by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 24 2014, @06:52PM (#128969) Journal

      I'm one of the few who aren't mobile (phone-wise): i looove email. I can ignore it if i want to, respond when i want, delete without even looking at it, spam the garbage.

      I am also not a 'talk on the phone' kind of person: i hate trying to make conversation, or having to listen to boring people who just talk to hear themselves (although, sometimes its a laugh, some of the things that come out of the idiots mouths because they are talking without thinking).

      I send quick emails to say what i want/need to say and i am done.
      Love it.

      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24 2014, @04:40PM (#128941)

    There are lots of other methods now, but I basically agree with your post.

    Upside is, if someone doesn't want to leave me a voicemail then it wasn't something important. It is really email that is dead, and IM/text is something that only those privileged enough to get me no matter what get.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Pino P on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:42AM

    by Pino P (4721) on Thursday December 25 2014, @12:42AM (#129018) Journal

    Another friend only uses Whatsapp and doesn't use email or Facebook at all. Because of financial reasons, I can't afford a smart phone so Whatsapp is out for me. (It makes getting hold of him difficult.)

    Have you tried these?

    • Use Bluestacks or another Android emulator [] to run the WhatsApp client for Android on your PC.
    • Inform all the mutual friends of this situation and recommend to them to leave the WhatsApp-only user out of any social gatherings.
    • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Saturday December 27 2014, @10:54AM

      by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <> on Saturday December 27 2014, @10:54AM (#129438) Journal

      I've looked into Bluestacks (which is the best of the bunch by a long shot supposedly). It is a bit invasive, though. Look at the uninstall process [].

      For better and worse, my friends are multi-ethnic, multi-generational, and international. Different groups use different things and everyone is kind of stuck in their ways. I'm part of nine different social online groups to keep track of all my friends and people I know... and that does not include Whatsapp. Adding yet another thing to keep track of is an awful thought to me and I have several friends telling me I need to join yet several other groups. I'm kind of sick trying to keep track of all of it. I don't want to pick and choose my friends, but the divergence of communication may make that necessary in the next few years. I can't tell my friends what to use as they will do what they want to do. I can only change what I do. Some will remain solely on Facebook. Others will remain solely on Whatsapp. Not sure what I will do yet.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @04:29AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @04:29AM (#129232)

    Most are getting this wrong.

    What killed voice mail? Callerid.

    I see someone called and call them back. "didnt you listen to..." "not yet"