Getty Images

This Is Why Your Fear Of Voice Mails Is Totally Legit

Listen to you ramble on for three whole minutes? Ain't nobody got time for that.

We’ve all been there: You step away from your phone for a while and when you come back, there’s a panic-inducing notification that someone has left you a...wait for it...VOICE MAIL.


Chances are, if you’re a millennial, this is cause for a full-on anxiety attack. What kind of monster would do such a thing?!

According to NPR, the loathing that young people feel toward voice mails is a very real and very legitimate thing. On the receiving end, it’s a time-consuming chore to listen to people’s rambling messages. If something was so important, wouldn’t they have just texted you?

And on the recording end, it’s a pain to sit through a robotic woman’s voice telling you HOW to leave a voice mail, as if that wasn’t common sense. Then you’re tasked with a pseudo-public speaking engagement where you have to leave an awkward message that— let’s face it — the other person might never even hear.


Back in June, The New York Times reported that voice mail rates are dropping and landline calls have basically plummeted (not such a shocker). That’s probably because — in the eyes of most millennials — phone calls are awkward, slow, and unnecessary. This is an era where most young people prefer to see to believe. Whether it’s a text message, a Snapchat, or a pretty Instagram, we’ve becoming accustomed to connecting to people in visual ways. It’s faster, we can do it on our own time and terms, and who doesn’t love letting emojis do the talking every once in a while?

NPR reports that leaving voice mails is now so terrifying to young people that they’re taking etiquette lessons on how to leave proper messages. Seem unnecessary? Well, according to Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder of the Etiquette School of New York, it’s a vital skill that we’re all going to have to face eventually for the sake of professionalism.

"The fact that we have four generations in the workplace, and they're going to be there for some time, the younger generations — the millennials, the Y generation — they're going to need to adapt," she told NPR.

But millennials aren’t going to be so quick to change. We resort to convenient, practical methods for exchanging info — and voice mail just isn’t cutting it.

Tell us what you think: Do you ever leave voice mails? Are they necessary evils or totally uncalled for? Sound off in the comments below!