Voice or text?

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?