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: 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!