With the current state of technology, it isn't so farfetched that every living, breathing creature in North America has a cellular phone.  With a cell phone comes many perks, such as texting, gaming, and of course, voicemail.  Now choosing your personal voicemail message is a very important part of owning a cell phone.  It gives people a certain viewpoint of you when you aren't available to answer a phone call.  Whether they are a friend just waiting to here a nice message from you, or somebody calling you for the first time and not getting through, you want to leave them with something that properly expresses your personality.

We all know the standard voicemail message:

"Hi, you've reached Jesse DeBear.  I'm not available to take your call right now, but if you leave a short message I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  Thank you."

Now some people are just lazy and do that random computerized message that only contains one bit of your voice:

"You have reached the voicemail of ?Jesse DeBear.'  Please leave a message after the tone…"

Or… some people just use the one computerized message that just states the digits in their number.  This is the most extreme example of voicemail laziness and proves to whoever is trying to call you that you just don't care whether they reach you or not.  Hell, you might not even bother listening to their message.

These are pretty much the basic messages that most people use.  But do you think it's possible to be more informative in a voicemail?  Yes, yes it could be.  I once considered a rather long voicemail message that was maybe, a bit too informative:

"Hello, you have reached Jesse DeBear.  Clearly I am unavailable to take this call right now.  I could be in the shower, I could be eating… as a matter of fact there are several things that I could be doing that are currently preventing me from taking this phone call.  If you wish, you can leave a message for me.  Please… do not leave a long one because you might waste the memory on my phone.  I know, I know… how can a voicemail waste all of that space?  Well honestly, I download A LOT of ringtones.  As you know, you must wait until after the tone to leave this message.  I cannot promise you that I will return your call as soon as I possibly can, but I will promise to try.  Thank you for calling me, and I hope to speak to you soon."

Now as you can see, this message is just too long.  Who has the time to listen to this bullshit?  It's just too much to give a person.  You need to tell them what is absolutely necessary, not your whole life story.

The next example of voicemail debauchery would be of those who play music in the background.  Why do this?  Some people are so proud of the crappy music they listen to that they need to share it with everybody even when they aren't there.  The worst is calling a person and listening to their long and overzealous message with Steely Dan blasting in the background.  Not cool, man.  Not cool.

I hope that we can all take a something from this very important lesson in voicemail etiquette.  Please, take pride in leaving a voicemail message… other people are going to hear it.