When I was little, I often played a game of shaking inanimate objects like cereal boxes through the house phone to my best friend so she could guess the sound.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that, like many Irish people, I’ve embraced the culture of mobile voice notes with enthusiasm.
Although my child’s acting wasn’t for everyone in the 1980s, I confess as a bit of an amateur actress, I loved the element of performance that comes with the “what’s up” phone call – just as I do with the voice today Remarks.
I can let my partner know exactly how I’m feeling on a Monday morning when the weather is a bit crappy outside, or I can let my friend know about a specific semi-hilarious moment I can experience at the grocery store.
The amateur playwright in me loves the act of storytelling and performance coupled with voice notes.
However, while many of us are busy retelling our own WhatsApp or iMessage chats to friends and family, others are giving a hoot to those who create mini-podcasts instead of just picking up the phone or texting.
But does the ability to take voice notes say anything about us as humans?
The trend seems to be most popular with millennials, and I can almost, almost, fit into that category—though not quite. My friends in their late 20s and early 30s seem to love sending and receiving voice notes.
However, when I cross that age limit and send voice memos to older friends and even my partner who is actually three years younger than me, they absolutely hate it.
A friend in his fifties who lives abroad flatly refuses to respond to my personal and artistically authentic accounts. He’ll only be on the phone – which I admit I don’t have much time for – or texting.
While I have friends in their 40s who haven’t jumped on the voice note bandwagon yet.
So it is obvious that age is a factor in terms of voice memo culture. But it’s not just age. My partner is three years younger than me and he can’t stand voice memos.
Still, he actually fits into the millennial age category, only just – a fact he proudly states on occasion, much to my amazement of Generation Xers.
After all, my generation made punk and didn’t come up with terms like “grown up” for why someone in their 30s still feels like a kid. Hey ho.
Even now that he’s broken a bone in his left hand, he’d rather write with his good hand than send a voice memo – a task I actually make that much easier and more fun. But no, he wants to text, so he texts and when I make a voice memo, he puts up with it, responding by text but never, ever delving into the world of voice memos.
My younger friends regularly give me glimpses of their days. The baby won’t sleep and I can hear the exhaustion in their voices.
But how madly do they suddenly sound excited at the prospect of a night far away. Or there is the friend who is overly dramatic and tells me how upset his workday is and how he feels like leaving the country.
I smile listening to friends back home in Manchester. One is perpetually single and fills me in on more dating drama, while the other is almost zen-like in her voice memos. Listening to her gives me instant calm and takes me straight back to my roots.
In each of the voice memos I receive, I hear my friends and I feel emotionally connected to them, as I hope they do when they hear me.
There’s something special about that. This means that even when we’re busy, we can take a little break to catch up on each other’s lives – because doesn’t that make us human? emotional connection.
Text often feels flat these days. I’ve had disagreements after texts where either I or the recipient didn’t understand the context or intended humor behind a comment.
Many of us don’t have much time left for long and cumbersome phone calls. I am involved with my friends who tend to prefer this medium of communication and I enjoy hearing their voices during a call, but I enjoy passing a voice memo to others.
Earlier this month, Kerry’s own Donie O’Sullivan, a CNN journalist, tweeted his confusion over the Irish love affair with voice memos.
“Since when do the Irish send voice notes instead of texts?” he wrote. Amidst the replies to the tweet came Irish people professing their love or hate for the method of communication. One woman wrote: “It’s too late for me… my mom sent me eight minute ones. Save yourself…”
Another admitted her voice memos resembled podcasts. One parent said her teenager was busy sending voice memos to her friend as she tried to speak to their child. “It’s very confusing for everyone like me,” she said.
Another replied: “The freedom of a good roam. These can be 10 minute personalized podcasts from your friends.”
In the meantime, I’m wondering if anyone would participate in shaking the odd household item into their voice notes?
I’m all for reliving the 1980s in these post-pandemic days.
https://www.independent.ie/life/personal-updates-or-irritating-rambles-how-irelands-love-affair-with-whatsapp-voice-notes-says-a-lot-about-us-41585324.html Personal updates or irritating forays? How Ireland’s love affair with WhatsApp voice notes says a lot about us