When discussing why his friend went to see a psychologist, Crocodile Dundee was confused and asked, “Hasn’t she got any mates?” Mick Dundee understood the value of true friendship, having someone to listen to his desires and fears, his wins and defeats. We could all use more trusted friends to discuss our limitations and ambitions, and the mobile app Voxer plays an interesting role in helping us accomplish that.
Anxious, irrational, analysis paralysis, and cyclical negativity. If not used strategically, Voxer can encourage confident people to act like every character portrayed by Woody Allen. The flip side of the asynchronous nature of Voxer is that people project their communication expectations onto others, especially regarding the timing of communication. For people who must use the phone as an extension of work life (either in a healthy or obsessive way), they often expect others to do the same and get irritated when they do not receive responses according to their time frame expectations. That is unhealthy for a relationship.
People experience this because it feels like they are being ignored even though that is not the intention of the message receiver. The worst thing humans can do to one another in life or in legacy is to ignore others, to act as if someone does not exist, to devote zero brain power or time to thinking through their ideas. A simple conversation about “response expectations” can often fix this disconnection. A lack of immediate response may also cause the sender to assume that others don’t care about them, which again, is obviously not the case.
When used as an obsessive tool, Voxer might also encourage users to fester or stew on negative experiences. The Voxer community that you set up needs to make sure this is not the purpose of your communication. A final problem with Voxer is the nature of the documented conversations. Because many users will use it as an immediate tool of expression, many of the thoughts and emotions that are expressed may be things people wish they had not said. In short, if you ever plan on running for political office, Voxer might not be the best tool for you.
Manly Modern Therapy
Voxer is a great self-expression tool especially for people who have a hard time expressing themselves face-to-face. Translation = most men. This technology gives us a vehicle for the immediate expression of our thoughts and emotions. The importance of the immediacy cannot be understated because many men will not communicate their thoughts or feelings in general, so if they have a tool that allows them to get things off their chest right away, they might be more apt to do so.
But men aren’t just sending out messages to the vast nothingness of the Internet, they are hopefully sending them to trusted friends who will act as a sounding board for their problems. Voxer can be used for life/business coaching, accountability, motivation, or general sharing and connection, but the purpose is to voice our concerns to those we care about in a private setting.
Rather than just venting or driving BMWs (belly aching, moaning, whining), Voxer should be a vehicle for “forward venting,” or expressing one’s thoughts and taking productive steps to act on those thoughts. Voxer is also a powerful self-reflection tool because it records all the messages, allowing users to track the development of their ideas over time. The greatest strength of Voxer is that it is an asynchronous communication tool – in other words, it gives people the opportunity to communicate on their own time and not necessarily as part of a give-and-take conversation.
I would encourage everyone to use tools like Voxer to talk about what’s important to them, their impact on the world, and their fears and desires, but only do so with people you love and trust…and be sure to set up basic guidelines to keep everyone on the same page.