Why I Hate Voicenotes


screenshot of whatsapp chat

You probably think the image above is fake and I generated it with Photoshop or some app and you’d be right. (Shoutout FakeChatForWhatsApp) But it’s actually based on a true story no cap. Yeah, I got a fourteen minute voicenote and that was my genuine reaction to it. Now I had to pause my fire music to listen to the voicenote.

That’s right, I hate voicenotes. Actually, hate is a strong word, let’s rather go for intense dislike shall we? I titled this blog Why I Hate Voicenotes as clickbait. Guilty as charged, I know. Oh and if I say hate, I mean intense dislike. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the blog.

I already mentioned the first point to explain my hate for voicenotes: I can’t listen to my music and voicenotes simultaneously. You need to understand something about me first – I’m always listening to music and all my music is fire, maybe I’ll go into that in my next blog. So you can imagine how frustrating it is constantly having to pause my fire music. Yes, I know apps like WhatsApp try combat this by lowering the volume of your music whilst the voicenote plays but it just doesn’t work. It’s a fact that we humans are terrible multitaskers. Propaganda in his spoken word piece, Be Present (funny piece actually, defs recommend) sums it up perfectly when he says, “multitasking is a myth you ain’t doin’ anything good just everything awful.” I just can’t process everything the person who sent me a voicenote is saying whilst bumping Andy Mineo in the background which means I have to pause my music just to listen to what you have to say which gets exhausting.

multitasking is a myth you ain’t doin’ anything good just everything awful.

You may or may not know this but if you start playing a voicenote through your phone’s speakers, you can hold it up to your ear and it’ll continue playing through your phone’s earpiece. Useful life hack for when you don’t have earphones and need to listen to a voicenote in public. A small but annoying caveat with this is that since phones use the proximity sensor to achieve this, if my phone is lying flat on my table and I start playing a voicenote and I accidentally momentarily cover the proximity sensor, the voicenote stops playing and now I have to press play again. Small I know, but it really annoys me.

Another thing that frustrates me is people who don’t understand voicenote etiquette. We’ve all received those voicenotes where the person starts talking before it starts recording and those who stop recording before they’re done talking. Maybe you’re one of those people but I’m not here to point fingers. Then there’s a different subset of people that for some or other reason send inaudible voicenotes. Imagine now I’ve paused my music and now I have to turn up the volume so I can hear your barely audible voicenote then get scared off my chair when I resume the music forgetting to reduce the volume. EP right?

This one applies specifically to longer voicenotes but in general, voicenotes are much harder to consume. I have to now keep track of everything you’re saying in my mind so I can address everything you’re telling me and that’s a lot of work. Unlike with text where I can see the points you mentioned and address them easily. And that’s a good segue to a benefit that text provides that voicenotes don’t – text is searchable! That means if you start wyling making contradictory statements, I can search up the history and call you out. But if you were wyling in a voicenote, calling you out becomes much harder.

I think the sweet spot for sending a voicenote is 30 < x < 120 where x is a variable of time measured in seconds. Anything less than 30, type. Anything greater than 120, call. You can fight me in the comments. But jokes aside, voicenotes are grossly abused on social media and though I understand that there are genuine cases where sending a voicenote instead of typing is warranted, more often than not, they’re just used because someone is lazy to type. When they’re used right, voicenotes are great and I myself use them everyday in fact and their inclusion in social networks is a great feature.

Oh, and to be honest, sometimes I’ll avoid replying to you just because you sent me a voicenote because I won’t be in the mood for voicenotes at that moment in time. So if you sent me a voicenote and it seems like I’m now ignoring you, I am.

If nobody sends me voicenotes after this, I’ll know I’ve done a good job.

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for reading my rant on voicenotes. Lemme know your thoughts. How do you feel about voicenotes? Am I being dramatic? Do you relate to people who don’t have voicenote etiquette? Are you the one who doesn’t have voicenote etiquette? I’d love to engage and stay tuned to blog.tinomuzambi.com for more blogs coming soon.