Another rant about technology

Yes, this is another one of those blog posts where I talk about some aspect of modern technology that irritates the heck out of me. If you have no interest in reading something like that, here’s that video that everyone’s been talking about this week. Enjoy!

I have a relative who doesn’t check her voicemail messages on her landline. She has voice mail – in fact, she had to set it up – but she doesn’t use it. We played phone tag recently. She left a message for me, I left a message for her, she left another message for me, and then I called her back and we finally talked. I asked her if she had gotten my message that I had called and she said she had. So I asked her what she thought and she didn’t know what I was talking about. Guess why.

She had scrolled through her calls and noticed that I called but she didn’t listen to the message.

Is this a new thing? People don’t listen to voicemails that you leave? Or is it that people don’t even leave voicemails anymore? Do people just communicate through texts and Facebook chats now? Is everyone just simply hanging up when they call and get someone’s voice mail? What the hell?

I told her that if she didn’t check her voice mails on her landline and in fact hardly ever uses her landline (her words) because she has her cell, she should probably just get rid of her landline and use her cell exclusively. A lot of people do that now. She said she wants it for certain things, like 911, and I completely understand. I’m never getting rid of my landline until they break down my door and pry it from my wall for the very same reason (and many other reasons too, as I’ve written about on this very site several times). But if you keep your landline, shouldn’t you check your messages if people call you? I assume people check the voice mails they get on their cell. (Or do they?) What if someone leaves an important message?

I’m tempted to leave her a time-sensitive message sometime. “Hey, I have a check for $5000 for you, but you have to meet me at this restaurant by noon or you can’t have it! See you then!”

Smartphones and texting and Facebook have made “keeping in touch” easier and faster. They’ve also destroyed any remnants of real communication and common sense.

In other news, I have a new piece up at New York mag’s Vulture and my weekly column at The Saturday Evening Post.

2 thoughts on “Another rant about technology

  1. Well I do, but I must be in the minority. Even my wife sees I called her cell or our landline and then just calls bcd and asks “What?”
    “Did you listen to the message?”
    “No, I just saw you called.”

    Grrrrr.

    I don’t get it either. I have a cell, which I rarely use, but then I rarely use the phone anyway. I don’t text, I don’t emil from my cell, I use my laptop for email, internet including my blog, etc. I don’t want to look at a tiny screen for anything.

    So you’re right to expect others to listen to your messages, and justifiably unhappy when they don’t. But then many humans are lazy, or idiots, or just thoughtless. Or something. Hang in there.

  2. I agree! When I leave a message for someone at work, it’s usually to give them the information they asked me for. When they call me back without listening to the message, I have to give them the whole thing again when they could have just listened to my message and not wasted my time saying it twice!!

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