Published On: Tue, Sep 26th, 2023

Voicemail schmosmail…just text 

By Marci Shatzman

I hope you’re not still leaving voicemails.

That’s a sure sign of being outdated. Cell phone etiquette demands texting.

Most people still have, and some still use voicemail, but it’s considered antiquated. Like having an answering machine on a landline to leave a message.

Anyone with grandchildren under 30 has known for ages that to reach them by phone and expect an answer, you have to text.

Now that even extends to business transactions. I just texted Jet Blue for questions on booking a trip, or I’d have to wait forever for a callback from a customer service rep.

Texting means you’re required to use the accepted abbreviations; Merriam-Webster lists 93. Not to mention having good enough eyesight to type your message on the screen of a 6-inch cell phone.

Texting used to be expensive. But now you can buy a plan that includes talk, text and data. I’d call your carrier to make sure your texts are secure, not public fodder that anyone can hack. 

This is all part of the new normal for acceptable cell phone behavior. Don’t expect phone calls either, especially if you’re under a certain age.

People don’t use their phones to talk to each other anymore. But they’re on them constantly. Have you noticed they don’t even look up when they’re crossing the street? Texting while driving may be illegal in some states, but I don’t see that behavior changing, either. Do you?

I’m not a prisoner of my cell phone. If I’m available when it rings, I answer it. I didn’t sync it to my car, and I don’t intend to. And when I return a call now, I never leave a voicemail.

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