January 9, 2016

"Email has evolved into a weird medium of communication where the best thing you can do is destroy it quickly, as if every email were a rabid bat attacking your face."

"Yet even the tragically email-burdened still have a weird love for this particular rabid, face-attacking bat."

Quoted in "The Triumph of Email/Why does one of the world’s most reviled technologies keep winning?" by Adrienne LaFrance, who says "That love may not be all that weird, though—especially as email’s competitors, with push notifications, become more annoying. Email works. It’s open. It’s lovely on mobile...."

13 comments:

Big Mike said...

"Email works. It’s open. It’s lovely on mobile...."

And Hillary Clinton's State Department notwithstanding, Email is a legal document with legal requirements for preservation.

Laslo Spatula said...

Adrienne LaFrance, only because the name Devereaux was already taken.

I am Laslo.

Original Mike said...

I didn't know hating email was a thing. It sure beats the hell out of the phone, where I have to drop whatever I'm doing or force the same on the person I'm calling.

Anthony said...

Me either. It's a PITA sometimes, but hey, control it or it controls you.

cubanbob said...

Its not email in of itself that is a problem, it beats the hell out of constantly having to call someone for this or that. It's the junk and spam that is endlessly annoying, even from those companies you opt to get email from.Text messaging is great for chit chat when you don't want instant and in your face communication but its not for serious written communication. Email works, text messaging works and so do the others, they all have their charms and their deficits.A lot of bitching about nothing is what the article boils down to.

Harold said...

Maybe it's personal email that we are supposed to hate. I can't imagine trying to support my customers using texts or phone calls. The message size limits rule out texts and half my customers can't speak comprehensible English. Emails take accents out of the picture and that makes even very broken written English more or less intelligible. For personal communication I've noticed most of my younger relatives and friends prefer texts or text chat, people my age still do email but the volume is pretty low, at least in my circle of friends. I do have two personal email accounts, one I give to friends and family and actually use and another that I use when signing up for online stuff, registering products and software or for buying stuff. I check the first account frequently but the other gets checked once a week or so just to nuke the inbox before it gets too full. I've had both accounts close to 20 years and have never had a problem keeping up with either.

SOJO said...

I miss email sometimes. I used to have lengthy, in-depth conversations with it. Now I mostly use it for the grandparent generation and a few good friends who are holdovers from the email days. If I email the younger gen, I can expect to hear back in a few months, defeating the purpose, whereas they text me back immediately.

Actual voice calls I now find bizarre.

traditionalguy said...

Digital Devices have nearly replaced humans. So get used to it. Steve Jobs is looking down from iheaven and saying "gotcha."

Uninterested Observer said...

When you get 10 emails an hour from different groups of people, it is like all of them crammed into your office at the same time talking to you, completely indifferent to the 9 other groups of people who are also talking to you at the same time.

It is a hateful time suck.

mikee said...

Email provides documentary proof that the recipient opened the missive, at least, so eliminating plausible deniability that the recipient was not informed of something important. Likewise, it provides proof the sender sent information at such-and-such a time, which is often important to know later.

Hillary, for example, could go to trial before the election because her (heavily redacted, incompletely erased, wrongly used) email trail shows her past actions clearly enough, even after her scrubbing of the files and attempts to destroy evidence. Not that it matters, she will be queen, I mean president.

Zach said...

Why would you want to destroy your email? The big advantage is that you can search it later on. The format allows you to say something significant that's going to be worth saving.

Texts are disposable -- they're good for when something isn't important enough for a phone call.

The one thing you should never do is give people the idea that you're going to respond to emails in real time. That's not communicating, that's just blathering.

Joe said...

The entire article is arguing against a strawman. Whining about how the latest technology, regardless of the era, is ruining everything is what should be eliminated.

If you don't want email, don't have an email address. Problem solved.

Sam L. said...

Email: Because we hate the postal service.