By Jake and Glenn
“Ring ring!” or “♪ ♫ ♬ Let’s get down in the club, gonna fuck you on the dance floor ♪ ♫ ♬”
- no matter your ringtone, we all feel the same paralysis when our
phones ring and we can’t/won’t answer. Will the caller leave a message?
Or imagine yourself on the other end, calling to tell your father,
finally, that you’re gay. He doesn’t answer because his fat fingers
can’t figure out how to press the right button. Do you leave a
voicemail confessing your sin or wait for him to call back? These are
all questions we deal with on a daily basis and in today’s debate Jake
and Glenn debate the role of voicemail in our increasingly meaningful
As a recovering heroin addict, I stand firmly against voicemail.
Receiving a voicemail is an act of aggression by the messenger. There
is very little in this terrible existence as unfathomably annoying as
having to log into your voicemail to check your messages. The only
thing worse than that is having the notification on your phone that you
have a message. I would rather get an alert every hour to tell me that I
am still HIV positive from sharing needles than receive one for a
voicemail. I know they tell you not to shoot the messenger, but in this
case I would love to.
As a current heroin addict, I stand firmly in favor of voicemail.
Receiving a voicemail certainly can be an act of aggression but so is
forcefully consensual sex or certain times of domineering. These are
good things and good ways to make extra money to fund a thriving heroin
addiction. What would you have a caller do when you are too busy
playing Badlands 2 to answer the phone? Sit there, and redial your
number over and over until you answer or die of a tumor from the cell
phone? That hardly seems like a better option than the simple act of
checking your voicemail after doing a line of cocaine your used your
trust fund money to buy.
Why is it so hard for a person to text you a message instead of leaving
you a voicemail? Even that can be somewhat annoying, really, since you
will get an alert that you missed their phone call on your cellular
telephone screen. Voicemail, much like “Family Circus” and
osteoporosis, is for the elderly. I am enraged when somebody leaves me a
voicemail. A young person, that is. My dad doesn’t even know how to
use a computer, so I can hardly fault him for leaving a voicemail on my
phone. If my wife leaves me a voicemail, I will put glass in her food.
Glenn: Just because the elderly use something doesn’t mean it’s only for
them and just because they use it doesn’t mean it’s bad. I can list
several things the elderly do that we all enjoy: watching TV, having
very rough but consensual intercourse and staring out the window while
waiting for death. Elderly people in my experience love voicemail
because it’s the only way they know for sure the message was left. Sure
we can text our friends saying “just joined the army, shipping out in a
week, ttys” but who knows where that text goes? With a voicemail, our
loved ones can hear that haunting message spoken in our own voice, and
wonder how things ever went so wrong.
The elderly are not trendsetters, and the only trend I can get behind
when it comes to the elderly is death panels. Getting a voicemail is
like getting a notification in your email from Linkedin. It will ruin
your entire week. It’s like a ghost reaching out from the past to turn
your waking life into a farcical nightmare. Sure, we could sit here and
debate ghosts and Linkedin for weeks, but what’s the point. I can’t
get a hold of Glenn to finish the debate and refuse to leave a voicemail
telling him to come back to the internet and write his last point. I
have texted him 7 times and even sent him a fax, but he will not
I got your texts but I’m busy trying to help my parents figure out
their voicemail password. Let’s not frame this debate as voicemail vs.
text because no one under the age of 45 can argue with a straight,
sagging face that voicemail is better. I would instead ask our readers
to view this as whether it is right to leave a voicemail if someone
doesn’t answer your phone call. Wouldn’t you want a voicemail? You can
listen to it and decide if a return call is warranted. Some might
accuse me of being sentimentally biased towards voicemail because that is
the way I found out I won the lottery last night. But even sitting in
the new mansion I will build with 100 feet tall fence to keep poor
people out, this affinity for VM won’t change. In fact, that will
probably be the method I use to fire my first housekeeper for making eye
contact with me!