R.I.P. Voicemail is Dead 1984 – 2015

I regret to inform you that after a long difficult technological battle, Voicemail has passed away this year. It would have been roughly 31 years old. Voicemail is survived by its loving family: texting, instant chat and email. It will not be missed and there will be no service or fanfare.

voicemailSource – Reddit

If you wanted to get in touch with my father in the early 1980’s you would have to call our house, repeatedly if there was a busy signal or no one was home (please don’t call), mail him a letter (it probably would have just gotten lost) or come to our house in person (worst choice, we lived in the sticks) then came the Answering machine. The Answering machine (as it was called before the advancements that created voicemail) has been around since the 1900’s but didn’t take off commercially until 1984 when AT&T split up and customers finally had the freedom to buy their own telephone equipment instead of receiving it directly from the phone company. Having voicemail gave us the power to receive important messages even when we weren’t available to take the call. It was revolutionary for the time now it seems there is a change that is occurring again.

GeorgeSource – IMGUR

Studies have shown that voicemail usage has been in decline year after year. People are finding that digging through multiple voice messages is a lot more time consuming then scanning emails. Voice messages can be unclear and both parties missing calls can lead to what is commonly known as “Phone Tag”. People under 35 (Millennials or Generation Y) have become accustomed to texting and instant messaging and find voicemail a time waster. Millennials prefers the ability for a quick reply from the receiver of the message. This current trend has lead to Coca Cola discontinuing their use of voice mail, which was announced in December 2014. Coca Cola went on to say the savings from eliminating voicemail will be around $100,000 a year and save countless work-hours in the form of productivity. I myself rarely use voicemail, if at all. On the rare occasion I do leave a voice message I also follow up with an email, which creates duplicate effort.


While it may not be entirely true that voicemail is dead, it seems to be heading that way. (in the same fashion as previous technology that went the way of the Dodo bird, technology like, dial up modems, zip drives, floppy disks, PDA’s, typewriters, Morse code….ok you get the idea.) In a world where people can connect directly to each other instantly it would seem like voicemail truly is a dying technology. So what is on life support now? Fax machines, Desktop computers, USB memory sticks, possibly even the landline telephone itself? Do you have an opinion or comment about voicemail or technology trends?


Written By:  – Brian K Wagner

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