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    The right etiquette to send your voice messages – Liberation



    A hybrid form of communication, between texting and calling, this type of message has won over young people in particular. It is still necessary to know how to make use of it that does not turn tanned for the recipient. Manual.

    It’s a bit like the digital equivalent of pineapple on pizza: there are supporters and those who don’t. Voice messages, these means of communication halfway between the SMS and the call, are more and more present on all instant messaging to the point that everyone has an opinion (often decided) on the practice. Whatsapp, the first platform to allow its users to send fragments of their voices, in 2013, counted more than 7 billion daily voice messages last year. A drop of water in the middle of the 100 billion messages that pass through the platform every day but which attest to an evolution in practices. “The vocals are a fairly recent phenomenon which has been integrated much more by the youngest, says Célia Schneebeli, lecturer in linguistics. They are simpler than the SMS, but still shorter than the call.

    The best of both worlds then? Not sure. On the one hand, the voices offer the possibility of quickly telling stories that would have required an SMS as laborious as the text of the pension reform. On the other hand, they sometimes force you to put down RTTs to listen to the new episode of the endless podcast-voice-message that your best friend plays daily about his life. To keep a happy medium and avoid exasperating your loved ones, Release offers you a short guide to the implicit rules of good vocals.

    1 / Take a minute

    Who has never dreamed of receiving ten minutes of an endless monologue without any information worthy of the name? Nobody, of course. Even if Messenger allows you to send voice messages for half an hour, you have to know reason to keep. The vocal is a maximum of one minute: “It may not seem like much, but in view of our standards of duration formatted by social networks, it’s huge”, explains Olivier Glassey, sociologist specializing in digital uses. Even more so when receiving a vocal means having to pause everything to listen to it. If the information to be shared doesn’t fit in a minute (come on, two for the really really interesting stories) then maybe it’s better to split it up – or even make a simple phone call. The reverse is also true: on the scale of relous vocals, that of 1.5 seconds to say “OK” is as painful as the miniseries of a quarter of an hour. There is a happy medium to be found.

    2 / Neither grandma nor the boss

    After 25 years, the rate of addiction to the audio message plummets. Better to avoid sending any to grandma even if your cousin gave her a smartphone at Christmas to see the pictures of the grandchildren. No voice either to your boss or even to your colleagues. Unless you work in a very young start-up, you will still prefer the good old email, especially for technical subjects: “With voices, there is no chat history, conversation memory is non-existent,” points out Olivier Glassey. Not practical for finding the reference of the last Excel file sent or the date of the next appointment.

    3 / Knowing how to get along

    The voice message mainly suits the one who sends it, rarely the one who receives it. Some people develop an aversion to voicemails, which are seen as invasive. “There is a divide among people, described Celia Schneebeli. The audio is an injunction to have to listen to the other, and it’s a bit individualistic. We do not have to take into account his availability. An annoyance that can reach its climax when the person opposite sends dozens of voices in a row, without warning. This can lead some to ignore the majority of messages received. Ideally, be sure that your interlocutor agrees to listen to you, even if it means warning him beforehand, using a good old written message.

    4 / Let go

    To make a vocal is above all to have the possibility of being authentic and spontaneous. And that is perhaps what is most important. “Vocals are used to untangle confusing affective or emotional situations, to better convey one’s emotions, one’s exact and legitimate reaction,” explains Celia Schneebeli. Hearing someone’s voice is much more meaningful than relying on emojis. To make sure you are listened to, get involved, give of yourself. A monotonous and flat voice, everyone already knows what it looks like: it’s called an answering machine, and no one listens to them anymore.


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