Monday, April 06, 2009

Voice-mail's Slow Death

I actually have a voice-mail message that says "I don't check my voicemail".

Which makes getting this article on PopMatters easy:

But on this subject of voice mail, I’m completely in sync with the techno-optimists who regard change as inherently positive. If you yearn for voice mail these days, you are hopelessly nostalgic for something that was actually detrimental and inefficient. I’m almost to the point where I have a revolutionary fervor about eradicating voice mail, and regarded it as somewhat treasonous when someone leaves me one or checks their own, thereby encouraging the continued exchange of information by that moribund medium.

My emphasis.

I am wondering if you all are actually using voicemail at school. Is there a reason we are paying for this silliness?


  1. I am a 29-year-old teacher who hates her voicemail -- I tell the students and parents at the beginning of the year to email me if they really need me. It will take the turnover of labor to Gen X/Y before voicemail will be dumped, though, I think. The older teachers in my building, even the tech-savvy ones, still cling to that voicemail. . .

  2. I don't understand this post. Are you saying that we should all communicate electronically? Goodbye to letters and phone calls and hello to only emails and tweets? Whoa. I'll pass.

  3. I WISH my school had a voicemail system. Although e-mail is convenient, it doesn't replace interaction with parents, on several levels. First, one minute of speech is roughly equivalent to one page of text, so logically, I could get more done in 3 minutes than with a standard 5 paragraph essay. Second, e-mails take time, back and forth. Again, all that back and forth can be discussed within 3 minutes. Third, speaking to a real person about real problems...sometimes, the parents just don't know what else to do! Their desperation, wanted help, just hearing a live person on the other end of the line helps.

    And lastly...perhaps you don't have to deal with this, but I need to 1) speak multiple languages, to barely literate parents and 2) convince them the parents on the other end of the line that I can actually speak English (see my last name). There's no way that I can do that outside of a phone call or meeting them in person, with a translator.

    It's NOT hopelessly nostalgic. We need to do what we need to do to meet the needs of our students. We also have to do what we need to do to meet the needs of our community.


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