Why are people sending voice messages? Northeastern communications expert explains phenomena 

By Cesareo Contreras

Sometimes a text isn’t enough, but a phone or video call would be too much. 

How about a voice message? 

Voice messaging has been available on some of the most popular apps for a decade now (it was introduced in WhatsApp and iMessage in 2013 and 2014, respectively), but people are reportedly now using the feature more than ever. 

A 2023 survey conducted by Vox, in partnership with the market research company YouGov, found that approximately 62% of Americans said they have sent a voice message. Young people make up a large demographic of voice message users, according to the survey. Forty-three percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they send a voice message at least once a week.   

The Washington Post recently wrote a feature on the rising trend, making note that voice messages “have been added to almost every major social media and messaging platform.”    

Elizabeth Glowacki, a Northeastern University assistant teaching professor with dual appointments in Bouvé College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Media and Design, says the rise in usage makes sense. 

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