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Snippet of Invisibilia: BONUS: Leave a Message

Last Played: February 25, 2021
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This guy talks about the power of the spoken word, and how listening to a human voice can have a more positive psychological effect than just reading a text
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first and see if she was gonna be home during that time or not, so I didn't do it. Nowadays I know she was just expressing love. But at that point in my life, most love felt like smothering s. So I tried to have the majority of our conversations with text. When she would leave a voicemail, I would speed through it fast, forwarding past the greeting, grumbling when the message didn't yield any pertinent information. Because you have a better idea of those that were sort of in your closer to your area. And I didn't want to get a place, secure it. And then and then Four years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer after chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. She was healthy for a few months, but then the cancer came back on. By January of 2016, she was in hospice care. During the day, I would sit at her bedside and read to her, brush her teeth, hold her hand A. Tonight I would meet up with family and friends and try to figure out what I would do When she was gone. It was over tamales at my favorite Mexican restaurant back home that a friend of mine, Chris, posed a question. Do you have any recordings of her voice? Several years prior, Chris's father had committed suicide. He'd saved a voicemail from his dad after he died, but when his phone book a couple years later, he lost it forever. He told me that he would listen to it all the time that he'd rather have that than any of the other stupid his dad had left behind. Chris got me thinking that night about the power of the human voice on what we lose when a voice goes away. And it turns out that a small group of scientists has begun chipping away at this question. A few years ago, Leslie Seltzer, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin, wanted to study the hormone oxytocin, sometimes called the love hormone that's released when we have orgasms or when women breastfeed or when we hug someone we care about. In this study, a group of girls were asked to take a stressful test. Once the girls were sufficiently rattled. Some called their mothers for comfort, while the others instant message them. What Seltzer found was that for the girls who spoke to their mom's on the phone. Their stress hormones decreased while they're oxytocin, levels increased. But the girls who simply message their moms had no change in stress or oxytocin levels at all. It wasn't just the soothing words they wanted. It was the soothing voice e. In a variation on the same study, Seltzer had some moms hugged their daughters for comfort. What she discovered is that the girls who talk to their mom's on the phone on the girls who hugged them had essentially the same brain reaction. In other words, when we hear someone's voice, the physiological effect we feel is similar to what we experience if we actually touch them. Another researcher, Dr Theresa Paper at Northwestern, found that coma patients who hear recordings of familiar stories told by family and friends regained consciousness faster than patients who don't. She says that loved ones voices helped create a quote healthier neural environment so our brains can repair themselves quicker. T o be clear. I'm a man of the 21st century on. I don't expect everyone to start talking on the phone all the time, but at present, Americans spend about 26 minutes a day texting and just six minutes on voice calls. We believe people's voicemails before even listen to them or we read type of written transcripts. Instead, it seems increasingly worth considering what we're missing out on when we neglect the voices of the people we love. By the time my friend Chris asked me if I had a recording of my mother's voice, she was too far gone to really speak. If I want to hear her talk now, I'm left only with a voicemail. She sent me a month before the cancer came back and I didn't want to get a place. Secure it and then, you know, I e. I didn't either. There it was way out of the way. It's exactly a minute long on. It's the only possession I have that I really care about. In the moments when I miss her most, I play it over and over again, always trying to forgive myself for fast forwarding at the first time I heard it. So give me a call when you get a chance. Really Looking forward to you coming into town. And I'd like to talk to you for a minute About that also. Okay. Love you. Bye. E. That was writer Cord Jefferson after the break. A special voicemail surprise
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