Email...I Think We Should See Other People

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Ah email and my inbox my long lost friends, we have shared so many memories together. You have been been a great friend and have provided me with so much information over the years. I think however we are starting to drift apart. Now I know this may sound cliché, but it is not you it is me - you see I think the reason we are drifting apart is that I am still learning new things and exploring new ideas where as you have been pretty static and do the exact same thing as the day I first met you.

I find myself over the past few years being drawn into many more "real life" conversations on various Social Networks - I mean how can you my trusty friend compete with talking to people in real time on Facebook, Skype or Twitter... The conversations that happen on many social networks are in real time and include video, photos and the chance to actually "talk" to people. If a person is not online I can still leave a message for them in the same way I can with you. The chasm is deepening every day.

You are far too engrained into the corporate culture to just pack up and go away, however I find myself using you less each day. I predominantly use you as a tool for people to send me attachments (candidates sending me their resumes) or for me to send attachments to others as many social networks do not yet allow that function. Once I work out a way to receive and send attachments and as more people use social networks regularly as part of their work day I think my reliance on you will decrease even further.

Some of my frustrations come from how unproductive you are becoming. Every morning that I check my dearest email, I have numerous spam emails that I am forced to delete immediately. I also get frustrated when people have "email conversations" with me (you know the type of email that usually consists of one line messages back and forth) - pick up the phone and call me or ping me on one of my online networks - you have become time consuming and less productive then you have been in the past. These things all take up time that I could have spent talking to people.

Using online collaboration tools is becoming easier and there are new tools popping up every day. You are in your current form no longer viable and I feel you must change or I think you will be left behind and have the same fate as what has happened to another previous companion of mine, the fax machine. I remember the days when I used to fax resumes to my clients, I have not done that for over ten (10) years now, and I do not think I ever will again. I think that you my dear friend are heading down that same path.

What collaboration tools do you use?? What is the future of email, will we still be using it in 2,5,10 years, if so in what capacity?? Send us your thoughts and comments.

Comments:

Dearest David: While I know you feel like we are growing apart, I hope that you won't forsake me for the latest fads. As you know these new "Social' friends you have taken up are very time consuming and can really distract you from your daily focus. Perhaps you could explore some of my features such as filtering to do away with those nasty spam messages. I know you think that these new fangled gizmos will better position you for the New World Order (NWO), but can you really effectively say what's on your mind in one hundred and forty (140)characters or less. Just remember that it is me, your trusty friend email that will always be here ready to be kicked around and communicate with the masses with the likes of my dear friends snail mail and fax machines (A friend reminded me this week that his major healthcare provider in the US only accepted US postal mail and faxes to file claims). Who knows maybe, in a few years I will reinvent myself... Your Pal email

Posted by Jan Ackerman on August 26, 2009 at 06:34 AM CST #

I think I share your feeling on this David. In recent times I've begun to favour RSS feeds to Google Reader over newsletter subscriptions and like you, I find a message on a network, or an IM via Skype or Yahoo messenger to be far easier way to update someone than email messages. In some cases, a DM on Twitter with a link to share is the fastest, least bothersome way to send information. There is no going back, I don't think. Our communications - with those whose contact is particularly important to us - will be closer to hand and more immediate than is email, I suspect.

Posted by Lindy Asimus on August 26, 2009 at 07:42 AM CST #

Hi David, Cool article. Me, I'm pretty active on a lot of social networks, Twitter, my blog, Skype, MSN, Jabber etc. The problem is not that communications got easier, it's that it has got even harder. In the beginning I just got email and a telephone. In the past few years it started (for me at least) with msn, then came the first social network (Hyves, in The Netherlands the largest) then even more, LinkedIn for professional contact, Facebook for my international relations, Jabber for my Linux minded friends and the list gets longer and longer.... Sometimes, I grave for the time that we will have one place to go, or maybe even more drastic: that the internet doesn’t exists anymore and we just have to drive to someone in order to ask them something. Or we actually need to pick up the phone and call to inform ourselves. Contact and communications is one of the most important parts of humans, but why do we need to make it so complex? I really do prefer personal contact, on the second place I got my phone. A lot of people I know use a type of IM or social network (or even text messages on phone) for contact. I don't really believe in that: in written words everything can be read between the lines. And it's never direct contact. I know, I also use it a lot, but I would rather not. Face to face contact still can’t be beaten. Regards, Douwe Pieter

Posted by Douwe Pieter van den Bos on August 26, 2009 at 01:37 PM CST #

Hi Douwe Pieter, Thanks for the comment, I agree with your thoughts. I think what we will see next in terms of technology is a tool or application that will allow you view and post messages from all your networks on one site (is google wave the most recognised at this stage??). This will make it much easier for us to manage our online communication with each other and keep us from having to hop to each different application or website. Thanks again; David T

Posted by David Talamelli on August 26, 2009 at 01:51 PM CST #

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