How we use (or misuse) email can have a big effect on our personal and professional well-being.
In a new article, writer John Pavlus embarks on a quest to uncover the true nature of evil (email, sorry), it’s technical background, and it’s tendency to seep into every nook and cranny of our lives:
It wasn’t until I heard that a colleague had nuked his personal email account—on purpose, for good—that it hit me: Email is the most reviled personal technology ever. Mat Honan, the San Francisco bureau chief at BuzzFeed, was so fed up with email that he did the 21st-century equivalent of unlisting his phone number and ripping the cord out of the wall. (He couldn’t do the same at work, but I suspect he wanted to.) This abject fear and loathing of a telecommunications technology, and the radical step Honan took to escape it—not mitigate, not reframe, not “fix,” but escape—got me curious about how we got to this point. What are the actual, fundamental design flaws—if any—with email? What makes it such a huge target for “fixing,” yet so resistant to it?
The article raises interesting questions about the decades-old technology, and it’s ubiquitous role in our lives.
Describing email as “the office memo turned cancerous,” Pavlus argues that the problem with email is that when we try to make it do everything (when it’s not particularly good at anything) we allow email to completely take over our attention – leading us to deeply resent its presence.
Yet we remain hooked on it.
How do you use email? Is email really the problem, or is it you? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credit: tekrevue.com