When was the last time you left a voicemail? My question only applies if you were born after 1985. Seriously, think about it for a minute. The only voicemails we get anymore are from the doctor’s office. Maybe your mechanic called and you didn’t recognize the number, or maybe you were busy at work and missed a call from your friendly neighborhood IRS scammer.
I remember coming home as a kid and getting excited about the blinking light on the answering machine. Grandma must have called while we were at the grocery store! Endless possibilities awaited us beyond that red flashing number. A voicemail meant that something newsworthy had happened in the last hour and I, for one, was always dying to hear what it was. I would beg my mom to let me press “play” and listen to that loveable emotionless robot say “you have, 1, new message.”
The voicemail used to be an art form. You had to say the important information before the recording cuts off but if you only give the facts your friend might take it the wrong way. So you add a little flair, a little flavor, a little spice to make sure they still know you like them. Leaving a voicemail has become a chore; LinkedIn gave us ten articles on How To Leave The Proper Voicemail and we all became voice message drones.
No one leaves me voice messages anymore. If I don’t pick up my cell phone they hang up and send me a text message. If I don’t recognize the number I let it go to voicemail and then they usually don’t leave me a spoken message.
I have more to say about voicemails in the coming weeks but for now here’s your homework: call your friend today. If they pick up, great! If they don’t, wait for the beep, and then record them a heartfelt message to listen to later. It’ll be a miniature Christmas present come three months early.