Social Butterfly: The Voicemail

Quit leaving voicemails, and stop wearing that hat. Image via ehow.com

Somewhere between the shift from phone calls to text messages died the use of the voicemail.

I admit, I am sometimes guilty of leaving a voicemail here and there. After all, they aren’t totally useless if you need to get some excitement or personality through in your message, that sometimes text messaging just can’t do.

However, I will never understand the type of person who leaves 6 voicemails that say the exact same thing, only changing the fake severity of each message as time goes on. “I need to talk to you, call me back.” “I really need to talk to you. Call. ME. BACK.” “I’m going to shave your eyebrows and make you eat them the next time I see you. CALL ME OR YOU and everyone you know will DIE.”

Voicemails can be confusing. When is it appropriate to leave a voicemail? Here are some situations that might help guide your next voicemail decision in this increasingly text-y world.

Voicemail Appropriate:

  • You got a new job and are REEEEEEEEAAAAALLY excited about it. Excited voicemails are always fun to listen to. Just no screaming right into the mic plz.
  • You just came up with the best comeback ever, and said it to your arch nemesis. You’re on a high from being so awesome, and you gotta share it with your BFF. Or your nemesis if you have their number, so they can relive the humiliation FOREVER.
  • There’s a deal on sun hats at Target.
  • You’re stoned, and you feel like explaining your homemade taco to your college roommate. Just like old times!
  • Somebody hit your car and ran. You’re pissed. Gotta let off steam. You’re saying “fuck” every other word and out of breath from yelling. You’re threatening everyone around you, even the baby in the stroller and the yippy dog barking at your from the comfort of it’s window perch. You’re totally gonna “kick somebody’s ass.” Empty threats are voicemail gold.

These, not so much:

That shit is creepy. Image via innogage.com
  • Breaking up with someone. Seriously? No. If this ever happened to you, thank the lord of the galactic universe that he/she did, because that shit is LAME and they need to erase themselves from your fabulous life like, yesterday.
  • The “just to chat” voicemail. It’s obvious you were calling to talk. I’m not above it though. I totally do it. When I’m really bored on a long drive, I leave these sometimes to feel like I’m talking to someone so I don’t go nuts. Caffeine and driving equals PHONE CALLS TO CHAT. Chat chat chat. BAH!
  • Someone died. What a horrible message to leave!
  • Any kind of bad message, like “Hey just calling to let you know I broke your French Press and took a shit on your pillow. Have a nice day.” True story. Just kidding. Only the second half is true.
  • Calling someone to let them know they need to call you back. Yeah. That’s what that whole ‘missed calls’ section on your telephonular device is for, genius! (Mom’s are reeeeally guilty of this one. But we can forgive them. They are Moms, they get a free pass for almost everything. ALMOST!)
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Social butterfly: Dogs are the new party accessory

Image via cutepuppiesforsale.net

Last night there was not 1 but FOUR dogs present at the party I was at. Is this the new party accessory for spring? I hope so. I wouldn’t mind a few turds on the carpet in exchange for some puppy cuddles and kisses. Besides, puppy poo isn’t any worse than anything that comes out of a drunk lightweight after too many shots, right?

Also, puppies are the BEST way to meet women/men. They are soft, nice, cuddly and rambunctious. The most perfect pick up of all time.

You guys, the is the year of the Party Puppy. A new column has been spawned. Let’s all take picture of puppies at parties. Send them to me at 20poorandfabulous@gmail.com and I’ll post them. This is the best trend of ALL TIME. YESSSSSS!!!!!

Social Butterfly: When Netflix is better than people

Photo via blog.compete.com
We've all been there. Fortunately, it doesn't have to ruin your night! Photo via blog.compete.com

Let’s call it the Netflix Nightcap.

We’ve all been there: Sitting at a party where the conversation isn’t really your cup of tea, you are single and everyone there is in a deadend relationship (that they sadly haven’t realized yet) or worse- you’re surrounded by young republicans with a self-righteous penchant for red meat and Tucker Carlson.

Netflix: Where everybody knows your na-a-ame (and viewing preferences). Photo via Netflix.com
Netflix: Where everybody knows your na-a-ame (and viewing preferences). Photo via Netflix.com

Sometimes, you just have to chalk it up, say your polite farewells and do what will make your night 10 times better: Netflix, baby. Can you remember a time before Netflix? When, God forbid, you were forced to rewatch actual DVDs instead of streaming them (30 Rock or anything with Leslie Knope)? I shudder at the mere thought.

Instead of cringing your way through conversations with people who wear too much plaid for their own good, imagine: It’s just you, at home, N-flix, and a warm blanket peppered with snacks and diet soda. You get to pick whatever you want, whether it be a delightfully shitty rom-com (anything with Katherine Heigl), action (Terminator), period piece (Downton Abbey ftw), documentary (the origami one) or Cheers (Ted Danson rocks).

That could be you. Image via cheezburger.com
This could be you. Image via cheezburger.com

So the next time you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a tired and pointless conversation with acquaintances you hope to God don’t add you on Facebook (there should really be a three hangout minimum), just remember that Netflix instant is waiting for you at home, with a barrel of laughs, tears, or just a simple warm hug of personalized entertainment.

Social Butterfly: Smartphones

Oh god. The smartphone. We love them, obviously, but are they hurting us socially?

Worst nightmare date. That guy is never getting called back, ironically, because he's always on his phone. Rude! Photo via ethicalnag.org
Worst nightmare date. That guy is never getting called back, ironically, because he's always on his phone. Rude! Photo via ethicalnag.org

You’d think it’d be the opposite. Always connected, always uploading pictures to Facebook, commenting on somebody’s something or having a text conversation that last hours (sooooooo annoying.) But I’m finding more and more that there are certain smartphone addicts that no matter how many good friends are around them at a party, they’ve got their drink in one hand and their smartphone in the other, doing God knows what and being rude as hell.

There’s almost nothing ruder that being on your smartphone at a party… the whole NIGHT. Anyone excessively using their smartphone at a party looks super bad, in a “who the fuck is that self-important asshole” type way. There’s nothing worse than striking up a conversation with a marginally interesting person who can’t even make eye contact with you because their retinas are smartphone-occupied.

Where is the line drawn between reasonable phone-checking and a social networking pariah? 

We’ve all done it. You get bored, the people at the party aren’t your cup of tea, or your male friends are playing video games. (Sorry Lana del Rey, that shit ain’t interesting.) Unless you’re deliberately trying to send a message to people that you’re uninterested in their company and you’d like to leave immediately, we should try to keep the smartphone checking down to a minimum.

And please, on a DATE, no smartphone or cell phone checking whatsoever. For real!