Phone Messages: If you don’t leave one, I won’t call

Maybe it’s the latest trend, or maybe I’m slow on the uptake, but after all the trouble IT put into inventing voice mail, why aren’t people using it? Am I really expected to check my recent-calls list and return all those calls?

Precisely. My friends tell me, “I didn’t leave a message, didn’t you see my name on your list?” It’s a way of checking to see if I have their name on my ‘favorites’ list, which then shows their name and picture on my phone. Except I didn’t turn that on, so all people who don’t leave a message just show up as phone numbers.

If you don’t have time to leave a message, it must not have been important. If you want me to recognize your phone number, you have to get another dream. Web 2.0 was not meant to invent ways to guilt-trip me, manipulate me, or intimidate me. And if it was, it’s not working. My phone is my business tool. I like talking to my friends. But not if they are trying to find out how much I like them.

–Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach who helps people build reasonable boundaries in their lives. See her work at