Voice Memo Experiment

I started recording voice memos when daylight savings time forced me to go on bike rides before work, which disrupted my typical morning routine. I was forced to find a way to [[output before input]] while in the car on the way to the trails. My first attempt was to begin to record voice memos. After a few days, I thought it would be fun to start sending them to [[Jeremy Tuttle]]. We had already experimented with a [[Writing Partnership]], but that had fizzled because of lack of time.

Why Voice Memo's?

My ideas around why voice memos are a better form of communication for remote, casual relationships:

  • They are easily consumed. Instead of being forced to lock into your phone and decipher my writing. My friends can instead listen while they drive, cook, eat, or workout. It is a much lower barrier to entry than reading text. These are some of the same reasons podcasts and audio books are so popular now
  • Texting and phone calls put bad constraints on remote relationships.
  • Texting sucks. Not only is writing hard, but typing on a phone is hard. And there is no room for exploration. On [[The North Star]] podcast, [[Kevin Kelly]] gives this description of their conversation:
    • "We’re chit chatting, we’re digressing, we’ve got tangents, we’ve got pauses, we’re totally inefficient by the way, right? That’s the beauty of it. That’s what we love"

  • That is the magic of conversation. There is a lot room for creativity and ideas because of this inefficiency. Texting doesn't facilitate this. It is meant to get your point across. It's a great tool, but it isn't facilitating the remote relationship I want to maintain with my friends.
  • Phone calls constrain us by forcing us to be synchronous. This can be great, but often doesn't work for people. Voice memos allow us to consume each other's thoughts more passively, and may even lead to a more thoughtful exchange of ideas.
    • A surprising thing [[Jeremy Tuttle]] noticed was that it may force you to become a better listener, because you can't interrupt the other person.
  • Voice is multi-dimensional. One of the things I don't like about text is that my sense of humor doesn't come across well at all (some may argue this could be the case in general). With voice, you have much more room to express yourself (it's so hard to be sarcastic via text)
  • I've played around with the idea of starting a podcast for a long time, but I really don't like the sound of my own voice on camera, nor do I have any experience recording myself speak. By consistently sending recordings to friends, I'll become much more used to this, and improve my speaking ability

I also hope they help solve some of the problems I write in my notes on [[2020-12-14]].

The Experiment

Starting [[December 14th, 2020]], I am sending a voice memo to a new person everyday for a month (until [[January 14th, 2021]]). The goal is to put myself out of my comfort zone, and to become much more well connected with many of my friends

My Linked Notes

One last thing

If you liked these notes, hit me on Twitter!