Voicemail is just a way for people who can’t write coherently to get all the benefits of email, whilst not burdening themselves with the need to leave a written record of their message.
Domestic answering machines are similarly irritating, made even worse by the fact that numerous people in a household use the same phone. Messages can pile up there sequentially for all family members (especially if some individuals don’t like using the phone at all -ahem).
Today’s invention is a domestic simulated switchboard/answering machine which allows callers to ‘press 1 to leave a message for Bill’ etc. When Bill has a message, his coloured button on the phone will flash (Mary’s messages will be indicated by a different coloured button).
Bill can then retrieve his messages by pressing his button (perhaps also entering a personal code), without having to live through Mary’s various incoming communications.
It makes even mobiles seem like a good idea.