Have you heard of Voxer? I’m always a ridiculously-late adopter, so I am slightly proud of myself for being ahead of the curve on this one. (Assuming that I am not the last one to have heard of it, which is not necessarily the case). The idea is it’s like a walkie-talkie, so you can record your voice and send it to someone (or a group of people) across the interwebs, and they can listen to it and send you a message back. Some of my Story 201 writing course women are on it, and using it for chat and prayer requests, which is how I have discovered it.
Here’s why I love it:
- You can send one voice message to a group of people. (You can choose how many to involve in your line of ‘chat’, and select one friend, or many friends). So if, for instance, you wanted to tell a group of friends that you had a hard day, and splurge, then you can do it once, and send it to many, without having to splurge multiple times. Useful.
- You can respond to conversations at your leisure. It can be live ‘chat’, but as it operates like a walkie-talkie, or leaving a voice message for someone, you can go about your day, and then come back to a bunch of happy messages for you, without worrying about missing out.
- You get to hear people’s VOICES. In many ways, this medium seems to operate similarly to a Facebook page or group. You leave a message on a ‘wall’, a space where everyone in the group can receive it, and then you may get a few replies. Part of me thinks it would just be quicker and easier to write that message, and definitely quicker to read it (although you can speed up the message by pressing the bunny, once, twice or even three times, to make the ‘ums’ pass more quickly. But it is surprising what a difference it is to hear someone’s news mediated through the sound, accent and tenor of their voice. I can picture them saying it, I can hear the emotion behind the words, I smile when I hear my friends speaking. There’s just something about the sound of a voice that makes a message more intimate.
I was wary of it initially because it wanted to have access to all my contacts in my address book. That’s other people’s private information, and I am not comfortable letting a third-party robot access it. But I was happy to discover that you can still use it without giving it your address book details, just by searching for individual people by their names or email addresses.
So there you have it.
But – here’s my confession – I also hate it.
I thought I would love it, because it is social media involving chatting rather than writing, which feels more sociable and extrovert-y. And then I came to press the record button and leave my first Voxer message and I remembered what it reminded me of: leaving voicemail messages for people.
I am TERRIBLE at leaving voicemail messages. The beeper beeps and all the words fly out of my head, so I end up saying something like this:
“Uh – hello. Um – yes, you’re not here, but I was just ringing to chat to you, nothing urgent or anything – just because I thought you would be here. But you’re not. Here, that is. So – I. Will. Ring another time, I guess? Because – you’re not here. Not that that’s a bad thing. You’re totally entitled to be doing something else. Probably something fun. Or not. Um. Anyway. I’ll stop talking now! Because you’re not – here. Yup. So – bye.”
And just when I have put the phone down with relief, I slap my forehead and redial, and leave another message that goes a little like this:
“Um – that was Tanya, by the way. Marlow.”
And then, after I hang up from that message, I slap my forehead again and think, ‘everyone has mobile phones these days! Of course they knew it was me! I should probably leave a message apologising for the obviousness of my last message…’
And so it goes on. In a most stressful manner. I can do phone chats, and in real life chats, and Skypes and everything, but somehow the pressure of leaving a succinct and information-filled impromptu speech to someone who I cannot see in front of me is all too much for me.
So far my Voxer experience has been one of listening to the comfortable chat of my American friends, and responding with a clipped, embarrassed, blithering, bumbling, rambling reply, much like a hapless Hugh Grant character in one of those Richard Curtis comedies.
Tell me it’s a British thing? No….? Just me?
Over to you:
- Have you heard of Voxer?
- Does it appeal to you?
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