Just over a month ago I turned off my voicemail. After voice calls and SMSes, voicemail has been the longest-used service I’ve had since I bought my first cellphone in 1995. It was an essential part of the cellphone era, To say I hardly miss it hardly needs to be said. My voicemail, like just almost everyone else’s these days, has politely implored people not to leave a message but rather text or e-mail me. I even helpfully spelt out my e-mail address. People still left voicemail. For years it hasn’t really bothered me because for the past decade I’ve paid for an extra voice-to-text translation service. Instead of listening to my voicemail, I would get these handy SMSes — with most of the voice messages properly converted into text. But when Vodacom shut the service down at the beginning of November, I took it as a sign that it was time to turn off voicemail altogether. For the past month my life has continued without voicemail, and it has not been missed in the slightest. I quite r...

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