Voice messages are a type of messages that are not typed on a keyboard but recorded by a person saying something and sent as an audio file. The function of sending voice messages was recently embraced by various social media platforms and is now used by people all over the world. However, there are different opinions on how much we need it and how useful it is, especially in formal communication. Many users don’t like sending voice messages and maybe even more people do not like receiving them. So what’s the problem?
Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the benefits of voice messaging.
1. First and foremost, they allow people to interpret the message correctly. When you read a text, there is a big chance that you might read it with the wrong intonation and thus misinterpret the whole idea, which sometimes can lead to serious consequences. With voice messages, there is practically no chance for that.
2. Audio messages are faster to send because you don’t have to type the text, you can just quickly say it.
3. The receiver can listen to a voice message whenever they want like a usual text. You won’t interrupt them as it sometimes happens with phone calls and a person has time to think about their answer.
4. Voice messages are rather intimate, which can be both a benefit and a drawback. It might be better to hear some information from a person than read it as a text because an audio is more likely to carry emotions. At the same time, your voice can say more about you than you probably want. For example, a person you text for the first time may find out about your age, gender, nationality, mood and many other things, which you might not want them to know.
As for the disadvantages of voice messages, there are also quite a lot of them.
1. It is much longer to listen to a message than to read it. So in terms of saving time, only the sender wins.
2. Texts are usually more compact and don’t have useless information or filler words. This makes texts much easier to understand.
3. In addition to the previous point, texts are also easier to reread or copy so when you need some particular piece of information, you do not have to listen to the whole message again.
4. Many people are simply shy or do not like the sound of their voice so they prefer not to listen to it and not to let others listen to it. However, others are actually very used to this sound, they hear it every time. It’s you who does not know how their voice sounds.
So the topic is indeed controversial. One conclusion that we can make is that voice messages are more suitable for communicating with friends, family and other close people in your life, but it is usually inappropriate for formal communication, for instance, with your employer.
Personally, I love audio texts. I believe they convey your idea much more clearly even though they might be long. I’d better explain my thought in many words so that the person understands it completely, from different angles, than trying to fit it in one sentence and end up being misunderstood. I have had so many of these situations when I had to explain myself saying “this is not what I meant” or when I had arguments with friends because I added some specific tone to a text or didn’t get that it was a joke. Still, I think I won’t send some important information as a voice message. And what about you?
Very fun blog! 🙂
I’ve definitely noticed more and more people using voice texts since the last couple of years. I know my sister is a great fan of using voice texts and whenever we speak through chatting platforms, she uses this method. Although I do find it nicer to hear someone speak rather than type, it gives less room for misinterpretation as you mentioned. I do overall prefer text messages.
Usually when my sister and I chat, I am walking outside or sitting in some form of public transport. If I do not have my earbuds with me, I’d rather not listen to the voice message, as I find it a little awkward to put voice messages on speaker in public :”)
I do also notice that my sister makes her voice messages a lot longer, which as you said is due to the filler words and breaks she takes while she speaks.
Personally I’m one of those people that cringes at their own voice, so I always stick to text messages! I often add emojis to get my feelings across. When it is a more formal situation however, I tend to spend more time on the message to make sure it cannot be misinterpreted.
Nice blog! I also noticed how more people send me voice messages instead of typed messages these days. For me, it greatly differs from time to time what I prefer to receive. Sometimes when someone tells a funny story of what happened to them, it is really nice to hear the intonation in their voice. I also think it feels a bit more personal when someone really ‘talks to you’. On the other hand, sometimes voice messages feel a bit too much as well, like when you receive two full minutes of someone talking about a practical thing they could have literally sent in one typed sentence. Sometimes it is also a bit impractical, as I do not always carry earplugs with me and I’d rather not have my entire family listen in on conversations I have with my friends.
So I really think there isn’t a right or wrong on voice messages, it just depends on the message and the moment for me.
It is quite difficult to draw a definite conclusion on whether voice messages are better than text messages. It is probably also very subjective. I personally prefer texting over voice messages, but I believe that is rather because I am an introvert person. Texting allows me to think about what I’m going to say and I can change my message as much as I want before I hit send.
On the other hand, I also agree that for some circumstances sending a voice message makes more sense. If someone has a story to tell it is often easier to just speak and it makes the expressions much clearer. I sometimes decide to do a voice message if I feel like my feelings have to be conveyed precisely, since via text it could be perceived differently. It all depends on the situation I guess.
Really loved the insights on both aspects in your blog! 🙂
Excellent blog post, very enjoyable to read! I personally prefer text messages over audio for reasons you have stated in your disadvantages of voice messages (less compact than text messages, and text messages do not have filler words).
On the other hand, I do understand why you or other people prefer audio/voice messages as it is less likely for someone to misinterpret what you meant, because unlike text messages you can pick up on someone’s intonation and therefore figure out in what mood they are currently in (angry, sad, happy).
Really great and relevant blog post! As we discussed in class, I do prefer voice messages. They are more intimate and allow you to feel like you are having a “real” conversation with someone while still having the ability to respond on your own time. Also, the ability to speed them up was a funny advantage haha! I can see the pros and cons of both sides, and it really comes down to your own personal preferences, as well as the types of conversations one has with their friends, family, acquaintances, etc. through message. If someone is known to call more often, then perhaps a simple message will suffice. On the other hand, those who have deeper conversations through message may prefer to hear the other’s voice if they are unable to call.
I think it really boils down to personal preference. I personally don’t like sending voice message because 1) I don’t really like my voice recorded and 2) I get a little anxious when I know when I’m being recorded so I often forget to say everything I wanted to say. However I do like receiving them, especially from long distance friends as I it is more intimate than texting but at the same time we don’t have to set up a time to talk on the phone as we might be both busy or live in a different time zone. But I do agree with you that voice messages may not be appropriate in a formal setting as you don’t know whether the receiver prefers this method of communication.