Why we should all stop sending WhatsApp voice notes

Voice notes are the devil. There, I said. They’re the bane of WhatsApp, once a perfectly good instant messaging platform, now tainted by the prospect of threatening to listen to someone who is more vaguely familiar than a close friend who is his flatmate. Likes it or not, telling about it or not. No, uninterrupted, for a full nine minutes.

Realize that this can be a polarizing point of view, and I want to take this opportunity to reassure my friends and loved ones that I am happy to know you and be in touch with you, and that I care about you. what you want to say. But I ask – no, beg – you: please do not give your thoughts in the form of a voice note.

My heart sinks when I see the voice note coming through, and if it’s longer than a minute, the bitter experience suggests I’m probably not going to play it. It would become one more thing on my to-do list, an unwanted new obligation that seems oddly daunting, and certainly wouldn’t have happened if the sender told me what they wanted to tell me.

Even the small ones are a minefield. At 19 seconds, is the voice note saying “Sure, I’ll be there?” Or is it saying “I hate you”? Please, drop my level of concern and use the dictation function instead.

Voice notes are akin to traditional phone calls, and that’s partly why I despise them, because I despise the chest-narrowing, heart-thumping anxiety of being on the phone—whether it’s to someone who Be it someone I’m close to, or a stranger trying to sell me Sky Broadband. They kind of have an edge over phone calls (you can stop and get back to them, or stop listening to them indefinitely) but they’re even worse, because it feels less like an interpersonal experience. .

Maybe it’s some kind of latent puritanism that’s raising its head, but sending a voice note when you don’t need a certain self-indulgent smell. It seems oddly extravagant to me, like doing my weekly shop at Whole Foods or some sort of elaborate skin care routine.

One question that desperately needs to be asked here is this – who are these people, these monsters, who think it’s okay to send podcast-length voice notes? Do they believe that the rest of us have unlimited time? Unlimited Patience? That we wouldn’t be listening to music instead and silently reading his latest message?

Perhaps the voice note sender is suffering from main character syndrome, or they are operating under the illusion that their life is one long, endlessly engaging Sally Rooney novel. Not to generalize, but there is a certain confidence in those who send voice notes, they are completely captivated by the sound of their own dulcet tone, and I’m pretty sure they really can’t use their thumbs and type. I am not very busy.

I’m sending you the notes of my voice, sweeping along the sidewalk in floor-length gowns, followed by a blast of Le Labo’s Santal 33, making trilling observations into your inverted phone.

And let’s face it, voice notes always come up at the most inappropriate moments. I’m sure at least some of you are familiar with the fear of accidentally opening one at the office or on public transport when headphones are not attached.

I want to put my information on WhatsApp quickly and concisely, and that means being able to visually concatenate a message. Your voice note denies me this.

Of course, for some people and in certain situations, voice notes are far more accessible and convenient. Sometimes they are, I reluctantly admit, necessary. But this is the exception, not the rule. I also know that some people find them intimate, or romantic – and that’s okay, if that’s your thing. But keep your awkward, breath-taking recordings away from me.

If you want to communicate with me completely in the form of gif and emoji, I welcome it. For the love of God just stop with Voice Notes.