We are getting visual voicemail at work, and I think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I hate picking up the phone, and generally will let my VMs languish in my inbox forever. I just don’t like not being able to mitigate my response to what’s coming, I don’t like being caught unaware.
I also find it a lot faster to have everything in print, I don’t have to waste time dialing into my voice mail, or spend time in an unproductive phone call when I could be doing other things.
Those who pooh-poohed the idea of getting visual voicemail stated it was a generation-gap issue: that previous generations didn’t have the advent of this technology and learned to deal with the “surprises” that come from an unexpected phone call. I was effectively rendering myself incapable of dealing with person-to-person relationships and undermining my ability to conflict-resolve.
I think that part of the argument disregards the fact that there have been people in society for millennia that do not care to interact a lot with others (classical “introversion”), and that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. I am an introvert: I am really good at “turning on” in social situations, but I am very content just to be alone with myself.
But the argument still struck me: has my preference for a “buffer zone” created a personal fault of not being able to learn how to deal with unexpected situations? I know that I am not as quick-thinking as I would like to be, and I’ve definitely manufactured a technology-structure that facilitates my ability to avoid that discomfort.
Bigger still, I know that I want to be better and more smooth at fielding questions and issues that I was not prepared for. Do I eschew this new technology, and instead embrace regular VM and pick up every call on the first two rings? Is immersion-therapy what’s going to fix me?
I think I’m going to do some research on the subject and see what the best balance would be between visual voicemail and actual person-to-person contact.