Berlin (AP) – The bass rumbles, the girlfriend sounds overjoyed – the one who plays a voice message is immediately in the middle of the action. Without having to hear many words, it is clear that the party is good.
Some love it. According to the company, seven billion voice messages are sent every day alone with the largest messenger service Whatsapp. Users could use it to “exchange information faster, easier and also on a more personal level,” the group states. Nevertheless, there are not only fans.
“You can see in everyday life that many people become very angry when they receive voice messages. With your own child, the tolerance limit may be even higher. But anything that reaches beyond the immediate emotional family area will eventually become very, very annoying to most people, “says digital expert Gerald Lembke. He is a professor of media economics and media management at Mannheim and has also studied voice messages and their use.
Users say: They like to send voice messages, but they do not like to listen to them. Why? It is very easy to record something while standing at the checkout or sitting in the car, but listening to a voice message requires action, ”Lembke explains. Because communication with voice messages is asynchronous, that is, with a time delay: someone picks them up, sends them off, then they are listened to.
Communication as a one-way street
“Voice messages are a one-way communication,” says Lembke. From a theoretical point of view, this is even a simplification: “You are independent of the recipient’s reaction, and it makes communication easier in the beginning because it is only in one direction and is not designed for interaction.”
If someone is temporarily unavailable and a case is not urgent, “this form of communication makes perfect sense,” says Lembke. But: When it comes to making appointments with many people, the synchronous phone call is more efficient and productive.
“For example, if you want to communicate a date, do not embed it in a voice message that lasts several minutes, but send it as an SMS, because the recipient can then see it immediately and easily look it up later,” Dorothea declares. Adler. At the Chair of Media Psychology at the University of Würzburg, she researches, among other things, voice messages.
You start chatting – and the message keeps getting longer
Some people differ a little when recording: “Spoken language is less predictable than written language. You can think about what you want to tell in advance, but there is probably still a discrepancy between what is planned and what is being said, ”explains Adler.
“While with text you can reread what you’ve written and adjust things to better suit the recipient’s message, with spoken language you’re more likely to chat. This probably creates some length. Some people like when someone start talking and talking about their thoughts and feelings. Although a text message may be personal, it tends to be a little more focused and focused. ”
Some things are already conveyed by the background. “I hear, for example, when a friend is still at the party and music is playing. This means that I can participate much better and perceive the authentic feelings through the language and thus also feel closer to the person, ”Adler gives an example. “Not only does she speak more, but she perhaps speaks a little faster and more melodic when she’s happy. That, of course, tells me not only how the person copes through the spoken word, but also through the voice and tone of voice.”
“It’s also about sensitivity”
Laughing, speaking faster, whispering, taking a break from thinking – all this can convey a message. But: It is important that both sides agree on the voice instead of text messages. “It’s also about sensitivity: if I send someone a voice message and the other person constantly replies to me with a text message, then at some point I would probably assume that they will not do it and ask or stop send language instructions. ” says Adler. Conversely, as a recipient you can also say that you prefer to call or receive something in writing.
Lembke also advises to make a clear decision – “Yes, I want to, or no, I do not want to. If I say I do not want voice messages, I can discuss it with those on the phone who send me messages. But many people are struggling with this decision. “