Debrett’s Etiquette Bible Advises Against Leaving Voicemails, Encourages Texting Instead

Debrett’s updates its mobile etiquette guidelines, recommending text messages over voicemails due to their tendency to become incoherent.

In a world where communication is increasingly dominated by text messages and instant messaging platforms, the art of leaving a voicemail is slowly fading away. Etiquette bible Debrett’s has recently updated its “10 commandments of mobile etiquette” and advised people to hang up and send a text message instead of leaving a voicemail. The reasoning behind this recommendation is the tendency of voicemails to meander and become incoherent. In an age where concise and efficient communication is valued, the advice to avoid voicemails reflects the evolving norms of mobile etiquette.

The Rise of Texting and Voice Notes

With the popularity of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, leaving voice notes has become a common practice. Voice notes offer the opportunity to leave a voicemail without having to sit through the preamble or the risk of the recipient answering the call. However, Debrett’s also considers voice notes to be “onerous” and suggests sending a brief explanatory text instead. The emphasis is on pithy and economical communication, as rambling voicemails can cause confusion and frustration.

Consideration for Older Generations

Debrett’s acknowledges that older generations may still prefer leaving voicemails and advises younger individuals to “cut them some slack” since they may find texting challenging. This consideration highlights the importance of understanding and respecting different communication preferences across generations.

Minimizing Intrusion and Stress

Debrett’s offers additional suggestions to minimize the stress and intrusion that can arise from making and receiving phone calls. The guide advises texting before making a call to ensure it is a convenient time for the recipient. It also warns against expecting unannounced social calls to be answered, as unexpected calls may cause anxiety about receiving bad news. Furthermore, repeatedly redialing a number is seen as an unjustified intrusion and can raise the recipient’s blood pressure.

Focus and Prioritization

When a call is answered, Debrett’s advises callers to concentrate on the conversation and avoid multitasking. Multitasking during a call can make the recipient feel marginalized and deprioritized. By giving full attention to the conversation, callers can foster better connections and avoid alienating the person on the other end of the line.


As mobile communication continues to evolve, Debrett’s updated guidelines reflect the changing norms of mobile etiquette. The advice to avoid leaving voicemails in favor of text messages aligns with the preference for concise and efficient communication. While older generations may still prefer voicemails, understanding and respecting different communication preferences is crucial in fostering effective and considerate interactions. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can navigate the ever-changing landscape of mobile communication with grace and thoughtfulness.






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