If I Never Receive a Voice Message From a Man Again, It Will Be Too Soon

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There are many things about human interaction that strike me, the most introverted introvert to ever introvert, with the fear of God. Eye contact! Being perceived by others! Remembering to actually listen to what the other person is saying instead of just desperately trying to think of something to say when it’s my turn to talk again! It’s all pretty harrowing.

But texting! Texting is a safe space: a communication haven for introverts where I can avoid my least favorite pastime—saying words out loud—and indulge in my favorite one—writing them down—all while still technically communicating with another person. Or it was, anyway, until some force of evil invented the horror that is the voice message.

What did voice messages ever do to me, you ask? Oh, nothing, except be insufferable. And listen, I know some of you freaks love audio messages because it’s easier to tell your breathless, long-winded stories to your besties out loud than to text them. That’s cute; we are not the same. But according to new data from AT&T’s survey for Protect Advantage that sheds some expert light on how phone use affects our relationships, I am far from alone in this. In fact, their results found that 69 percent of those who took the AT&T Connection Quiz are anti-voice memo. Which means that my opinion is good and correct and yours is bad and wrong if you disagree with me. Sorry, I just report the facts.

So, what could I possibly have against something as simple as an audio message? A lot of things, thanks for asking. First of all, they’re logistically impractical. The beauty of texting is that it is a silent form of communication. You know when you’re in public and someone is having a loud, unnecessary phone conversation and you’re like, “Jfc, there is absolutely no reason you couldn’t just be texting this right now instead of bothering everyone”? Yeah, exactly—that’s what texting is for. So why are you bringing your out-loud voice into this non-verbal activity? Why are you forcing me to find my headphones so I can listen to your text message without being the worst person on the subway right now? Absolutely not. Jail. If you want to talk to me out loud, you can call me! Will I answer? Of course not. I will stare at your name on my phone in panic as my body immediately shifts into fight or flight mode, wait for it to stop ringing, and then text you, “Hey, did you mean to call me?” because I genuinely cannot imagine someone doing that on purpose. (Potentially worth noting that, per the AT&T data, 60 percent of survey-takers also prefer texting over a phone call, so I am once again in proud possession of a correct opinion.)

And—before you say anything—yes, I know that I can just read a transcription of the audio message, which is…essentially just a text message, thus bringing me back to my original point re: the embarrassing futility of voice messages in the first place.

Let me be clear, I do not wish to receive a voice message from anyone. Not my very lovely mother, who I am almost positive does not know how to send a voice message anyway. Not my best friend, who knows better than to even try that shit with me. Not even from God herself, by which I of course mean Taylor Alison Swift. But if there is one person on this planet from whom I most dread an audio message, it is a man. Like, pretty much any man, tbh. But especially one with whom I am romantically (or potentially romantically) involved.

Look, I’ve got as much of a voice kink as the next gal. But an audio message from a man is an instant ick, period. It’s giving, “I love the sound of my own voice so much I think you should hear it too.” Gross. Also, as we all learned back when Hinge first introduced voice prompts, men simply cannot be trusted with this technology. Sure, I get the logic—it does suck to find yourself instantly turned off on a first date with a hot guy who turns out to have a weird voice. But unfortunately, men have proven time and again that if you give a man a new way to communicate with women, he will immediately use it for evil. Or at least general creepiness.

Speaking of creepiness: Gentlemen, do you know how many of you are sliding into women’s Instagram DMs with a voice message because you think it will set you apart from the deluge of other horny weirdos in there? That’s right—you’re not original, just creepy. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Anyway, the point is, voice messages are bad and wrong and I am good and right. If you disagree, feel free to send me a voice message about it that I absolutely will not listen to under any circumstances.

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