It's hard to believe now, but 20 years ago, I had my answering machine message voice down pat. "Hey, this is Kristi. Did you want to do something later? Call me back!" I had my friends' phone numbers memorized and could dial them in my sleep. I had an answering machine and looked forward to checking it after school. Today, voices scare me.
OK, that's an exaggeration, but it's a little bit true. Have you ever planned a cross-country rendezvous with friends without ever talking on the phone ahead of time? I have. That's what we do now. My kids text and call me a few times a day, usually because they want to go somewhere or need to get picked up, but the old trope of girls gabbing on the phone all night is over. At this point, you can almost guess someone's age by how comfortable they are at talking on the phone. Let's break it down with broad stereotypes:
Super comfortable: Baby Boomers. Not only did Baby Boomers grow up with answering machines, they took a while to get on the texting bandwagon. So Baby Boomers have had the longest number of years to get comfortable talking into machines.
Medium comfortable: Gen X. Clearly, texting and messaging are the most convenient ways to communicate with the world outside your home, but we were raised to talk to people. And some family members aren't on the messaging train, so we're straddling two worlds. Yes, I'll leave a voicemail if we're kin and we need to talk, but chances are I'll get ahold of you through Facebook or texting first. It's so much easier, right?
Baby comfortable: everyone else. God never meant for us to talk through machines -- that's why he invented fingers and keyboards. You can tell God never intended us to talk on the phone by the way he changed the sound of our voices when they're played back for us.
All that is to say that if you see a kid who's really comfortable leaving a voicemail, feel free to rip off her child mask to reveal the 45-year-old woman she really is. You'll be doing the world a favor.
Kristi is a senior editor and columnist for Cracked. For more from her, check out past articles here and follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
For more from Kristi, check out 5 Cynical Marriage Tips Every Couple Needs to Learn. And then check out 27 Sex Myths You Need to Stop Believing.