First Friday Finds: Voxer

This month’s First Friday Find isn’t anything terribly new on the scene, but there seem to be many who do not know of the app called Voxer.  It can be used on both iPhones and Androids and it has made my life easier and more connected in a world that is getting busier with less personal communication.  Voxer is basically a glorified Walkie-Talkie.

The app’s description can explain it better than I can: Voxer allows you to easily and instantly communicate with one friend or a group of friends.  Friends can listen to your message while you talk, or check audio messages later.  Forget about separate phone calls, voicemails, text messages, and e-mails.  With Voxer you can instantly send audio, text, photos, and share your location.

I have made several attempts to convince people of the benefits of this app.  Many of my friends have joined in the fun.  However, I’ve received several naysayers as well.  I thought I would address all the naysayers remarks with my own rebuttal.

Naysayer #1: If I want to talk to someone, I can just call them.
Rebuttal: Yes, but hardly anybody seems to call anymore.  Some don’t even pick up the phone when you do call.
Real-life Example: My friend has a sister that she rarely has a chance to talk with on the phone.  The sister had shied away from family since she did not feel like she was really fitting in with their expectations.  A phone call felt a little too intimidating.  My friend convinced her sister to get on Voxer.  The sisters are now communicating on a weekly, if not daily, basis whereas before they were not talking at all.  It’s a little less intrusive but still allows for communication.

Naysayer #2: I can just text someone.
Rebuttal: This saves you the cramped fingers from those long texts.  Plus, being able to hear the inflection in one’s voice omits all those texts where you can’t tell if someone is kidding or just really stinkin’ rude.  Lastly, though it’s not my preferred method of communication, texting can also be done within this app.
Real-life Example: My message gets across quicker and I can be the sarcastic goofball that I am without having to worry about hurt feelings or misinterpreted texts.

Naysayer #3: Isn’t it just like leaving a Voice-mail?
Rebuttal: How annoying is it to have to dial in to your VM?  Perhaps I’m just lazy, but I really hate having to go through the dialing and connecting process for a simple Voice-mail.
Real-life Example: I’m saving minutes and time!

Naysayer #4: I just don’t get the point.
Rebuttal: See Real-life Example below.
Real-life Example:  I am a Mom who is on the move.  Sometimes my friends and I get behind and we’re late picking up kids.  We quickly Vox each other and let the other adult know that we’re on our way.  I can send a Voxer to all of my girlfriends easily and let them know that I’m taking my kids to the park and all are welcome.  I can let my husband know that I’m getting gas really quick before I come home from my errands without having to connect my Bluetooth or pull over and text.  I can let a friend know that I am in the area and about to return something to them that I have borrowed so they have a heads up.  I can stay connected with my family and friends who live miles apart and oftentimes keep different hours.  This allows them to listen when they have a free moment and respond at their convenience.  Even more fun, my kids LOVE to leave messages for their friends.

Here’s the biggest reason I like Voxer though.  I think of loved ones in my life more times than they would ever know.  I may hear a song, remember a funny inside joke, or see a silly thing in a store that reminds me of them.  Half the time I have that thought and my friends and family never know they were thought of that day.  With the ease of Voxer, I’m able to snap a picture and explain why it made me think of them.  I’m able to give them an update on life that will not be showing up in their Facebook feed.  I’m able to quickly send a message of gratitude that might have otherwise gone unsaid.  We may say we’ll call, we’ll text, or visit, but sadly many of those actions don’t come to pass.  Voxer may seem like a poor substitute for other more personal communication, but when you’re not connecting at all, it brings more valuable connection than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and texting combined.

Voxer brings a more real connection in a world that seems to be setting less time aside for face-to-face communication and phone calls.  You may prefer talking on the phone versus this option but, if the other end never picks up, then your preference is null and void.

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