Re[2]: E-mail: How does it affect our work?

Subject: Re[2]: E-mail: How does it affect our work?
From: powen -at- MAIL -dot- LMI -dot- ORG
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 17:05:40 EST

Jack Worthington says

> I feel that E-MAIL has made life a lot more impersonal. This is BAD
> for society, BAD for our kids, but nevertheless, FUN to play with.

> Go figure!

I feel just the opposite. I've developed personal relationships online that I
enjoy very much and have done a much better job of communicating with distant
family and friends since e-mail became available. I'm not exactly phonephobic,
but I really don't like the beasts. I hate getting calls from friends who want
to have deep conversations (which I normally enjoy face to face) when I'm in the
middle of something or just am not in the mood to talk. I always feel terrible
if I don't respond the way they need me to respond. I feel the same way when I
need to talk to them and they're, well, just not in the mood. And letter-writing
- forget it. Somehow that always seems more formal, requiring careful thought.
And since I'm too lazy to write letters often, much more is invested in what I
say and how I say it. Then there's the stamp and licking issue - too much work

With e-mail, however, I communicate often with my friends, family, and online
companions. I can write it when I'm in the mood and have the time. It's fast, so
I can write frequently and quickly, not worrying about what my mood is at that
given second, since my addressees get a lot of my e-mail by which to judge each

The more difficult issue for me is exactly what tone to strike with people I
don't know well but with whom I'm corresponding via e-mail. And those of you who
have mentioned the danger of setting ephemeral thoughts into "stone" via e-mail
definitely have a point.

So, I guess e-mail, like most technologies, has its good side and its bad side.
And as with other technologies, I guess the best approach is to think carefully
about when e-mail is appropriate to send and about what it should contain.

Pam Owen
Nighthawk Communications
Reston, VA
Nighthawk1 -at- aol -dot- com, or powen -at- lmi -dot- org

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