I disabled my voicemail. You should too.

Actually, do whatever you like. I don’t care. The only reason that I got rid of my voicemail on my mobile phone is because my home phone forwards to it and I honestly just don’t need voice messages. But the thing is that because of this setup, I am always by a phone. If someone calls and I hear it, I’ll answer. If for some reason I miss the call, then I can see the missed call in the log. If that still isn’t enough, then someone can either SMS or email me. Honestly, there are more than enough ways to reach me and really, I’m simply not that important that I need to be reached at all times; in fact no one I know is.
Why the voicemail hating? This is actually nothing new. At a previous office, I was the IT Manager. I got extremely tired of the fact that people would call to leave a voicemail and then email me or come down to see me and ask if I got it. That seemed just a bit redundant, so I simple shut off voicemail on my extension and claimed it was out of order. I also did this for the extension of anyone else who asked. We all had email, which to me works a great deal better than voicemail.
I mean, most of my voicemails (both the ones I get and I the ones I leave) are something along the lines of, “Oh, hi. Um… well, just wanted to um… check and see what you’re… uh… doing. How’s it going? Everything is good for me. So… well, uh… call me back.” Despite nearly four decades of use we’re still not really sure what to do when we don’t reach a human being. Then there’s the other side of that where once you receive a voicemail, you have to transcribe it somewhere if it’s important. I know that some people save their voicemails, but that’s like saving steam. It’s ephemeral at best and honestly, based upon the type of people who I see saving literally hundreds of voicemails, management should fire all of them as they’re rarely organized or productive, but that’s another issue.
Let’s get back to SMS though. I freakin’ love SMS. This isn’t just because of my work on Africa projects where people chew through SMS like the delicious candy that it is. No, I love SMS because it forces you to be succinct. An SMS message can only be 160 characters at most. It makes it simple to ask, Q “Where are you?” A “I’m at the cable car turnaround on Powell Street.” whereas a voice call would doddle back and forth to the point where each person would guide the other until they approach one another while talking on their respective phones. Then there would be that knowing smirk as they hang up both of their phones and head to Starbucks Blue Bottle Coffee.
Don’t get me wrong, voicemail had a good two decade run, but once SMS and more importantly, email came along, its days were numbered. And that’s the thing, if an SMS won’t suffice, then send me an email, or (and this is the truly ‘holy shit’ moment) let’s actually meet face to face and have a real conversation where we can talk and get a full understanding of what each other is saying.
Anyways, this is why I’ve done away with my voicemail. The Africans figured this out long before we did because absolutely no mobile plan has voicemail with it. People either beep one another or they, yes, you guessed it, SMS one another. It works quite well and we could all learn a lot from this, or we can just keep going on leaving our meandering voice messages, although I have stopped any of you from doing that to me now >:)
I disabled my voicemail.  You should too.