Why Generation Y Won’t Answer Your Voice Messages



Why Gen Y'ers won't answer your voice messagesDo you dislike leaving voice messages for friends and colleagues?

You’re not alone, especially if you’re between the ages of 18 and 34. Research shows that millennials, also known as Generation Y, shy away from leaving voicemail, in favor of texting or using services like Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.

Recent articles in the New York Times and on NPR’s All Things Considered suggest that twenty-somethings, raised in a text-friendly culture with unlimited phone access to their friends, just don’t like waiting for the robotic voice instructions to end or that annoying beep. On average, Gen Yers send up to 60 text messages a day. They find texting more immediate and satisfying, and trust it more.

While millennials have been dubbed the “Me” generation, when it comes to messaging it seems more a matter of pragmatism than entitlement. Texting is simply faster and easier than leaving a message. A “Call me!” text will likely be answered more quickly than a voice message buried on your phone or in your Inbox. And millennials will often call the number that appears on a voicemail notification before listening to the full message. Again, they like to save time.

Growing up with caller ID, millennials may also assume that if a workmate sees their caller name and chooses not to pick up, they do not want to answer. Not answering can seem like a rejection, and having to leave a voice message can feel, to use a Gen Y-ism, lame.

Finally, admit it, you might teach or sell or coach for a living, but we all feel a bit tongue-tied when we leave a voice message. A text message is easily edited.

All in favor of scrapping voicemail shout “yeah!” Unfortunately, most of us work in businesses that span at least a couple generations of workers. And our parents and grandparents still love the sound of our voices on their answering services. Voicemail may one day go the way of the telegram, but until then, we’ll still need to leave a message after the beep from time to time.

A few tips for leaving your voice message? Sit up tall and take a deep breath before beginning. Then say who is calling and leave a short, detailed and friendly message with a smile.

Finally, if you just don’t want to have to log in and listen to all those messages sequentially, use a service like Phone.com’s voicemail-to-text, which sends voice messages to your email or phone to read over a latte!