The Death of Voicemail (hopefully)

“The person you are calling has a voicemail that has not been set up yet.”

It’s amazing how just a few words can put an otherwise composed adult into complete panic mode.

The following is a recounting of what happened to me when I forgot to set up my voicemail inbox.

At the beginning of 2016, I upgraded my iPhone and forgot to set up my voicemail inbox. For the first few days, I didn’t get any voicemails and no one said a thing to me about it.

By the end of the first week, I started getting some variation of this text message: “Hey, I tried to leave you a voicemail but did you know that your voicemail isn’t set up yet?”

I’d respond and let them know that I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I was busy. People took time to remind me days later, when we actually had time to talk. It felt like they were trying to save me from myself — from my own lack of commitment to having a voicemail inbox.

After a month passed, I had received dozens of text messages imploring me to PLEASE set up my voicemail inbox. Apparently, I had broken some unspoken rule of society. My friends started to get antsy.

Setting up my voicemail started to become a source of stress. I would be in the middle of completing an important task and remember that I needed to set up my voicemail. After making a mental note of it and getting back to the task at hand… I, of course, would completely forget about it.

This cycle went on for about three months, until I decided I was no longer going to comply. I was going to take a stand and never, ever set up my voicemail inbox… ON PURPOSE!

These days, I take great pride in letting people know that, “Yes, I know my voicemail inbox is not set up. It’s entirely intentional. You should try it. It will change your life”.

I want to help spread the good news. Our communication devices should allow us to communicate on our terms.

This is the part of the article where I’m going to speak to you directly.

It’s been four months since I’ve been voicemail free. I have to tell you, it has increased my productivity by orders of magnitude.

Do yourself a favor and get rid of your voicemail inbox. I promise that it will not be the end of the world.

If someone wants to contact you and you don’t have a voicemail inbox, that person still has several alternate ways to get a hold of you:

  • Sending you an email
  • Calling you back later
  • Messaging you on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc

One of the side effects of not having a voicemail inbox is that I no longer leave voicemail messages for anyone else. It has made me a far more considerate person.

If I call someone and they don’t answer, I’ll usually just call back another time. If it’s really pressing, I’ll text them. It works wonders.

I only wish I would have given up on voicemail sooner. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in quite a while.