Voice mail? That's so last centuryby Daniella Wexler, articles.philly.com
May 16th 2010
The Pew Internet and American Life Project last fall reported that teens were texting five times more often per day than adults. And Nielsen Co. said teens send an average of six texts every hour they're awake. Texting overall jumped 31 percent in 2010, according to CTIA - The Wireless Association.
This may be why an informal survey of 57 people by The Inquirer found a clear generation gap when it comes to voice mail.
More than half of the 35 respondents younger than 35 said they were in no rush to check their voice mail, listening to it only every few hours or days.
Seventy-six percent of those younger than 35 said they favored texts or e-mails, while those older than 55 said they preferred phone calls and voice mail.
"I hate checking voice mails," said one young participant. "Once I accidentally got fired because I missed a voice mail from my boss telling me to come in - got it a week later."
Checking voice mails often requires a separate phone call, which can be a deterrent. Why waste phone plan minutes if you can just return the missed call? IPhones solve the problem by archiving messages so that they can be played back with one touch, but many young people still don't see the point.
Verizon Wireless spokesman Bob Varettoni said his company does not disclose statistics regarding voice-mail usage but noted that text usage had skyrocketed over the last few years, from 9.6 billion texts sent or received by Verizon Wireless customers in the United States during the first quarter of 2006 to 180 billion texts sent in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Parents text now, too, if only to keep in touch with their children.
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