More defense of email

More defense of email

This is the neighbor's cat, trying desperately to escape my loving care. This cat would totally text me important stuff.

We all know that many big tech figures hate email. Merlin, Dan, and Marco have all been pretty vocal about this, and I totally get it—they’re media figures in a way I’m not so they get flooded in a way I don’t. But I still maintain that email is the best medium for oh so many tasks if you’re a Regular Person like I am (at least for now, heh). But I’m clearly still swimming upstream; even my non-tech contact points prefer non-email communication. And sometimes, that drives me insane.

There are multiple families on my block who have cats and travel a lot. My husband and I have sort of become the go-to kitty sitters, but as the neighbors get more and more close to us friendship-wise, they’re more prone to just texting us their vacation dates and just dropping off a key whenever. This really, really doesn’t work for me. Like, those cats are gonna fucking starve doesn’t work for me.

When I receive a piece of information that absolutely requires a follow-up action on my part, I really want that to come to me over a medium that allows for robust customization. I want to star/flag/mark that shit unread, and I want to forward it to my husband so he knows too, and I want to have it potentially integrate with my calendar via that iPhone linked text event thingy (shit, now I’ve lost my technical audience. Sorry. You know what I mean.) so I can make sure that the necessary reminders and alarms happen so I will break my routine to see that your pets are cared for.

This is important. This is not fleeting. This needs to be delivered to me in a way that doesn’t disappear from my home screen if I answer a phone call. This needs to be “processed” in the Getting Things Done sense of the word. I care about your cats enough to be kind of a pain in the ass about this. But three separate households of older-than-me, less-technical-than-me neighbors all texted this request, and only followed up via email when I prodded them to. And even then they sort of maybe needed reminding to email, or an explanation why that medium was necessary.

Now, I can’t demand that level of communications catering in any social setting; I can only demand it when someone is asking a favor of me. I feel like in that context, it’s fine for me to dictate the parameters necessary for them to get that favor done. But I ALWAYS prefer an actual email if the subject isn’t something fleeting or immediate, and you know what? Bonus points if your email is old-school enough to contain a signature with things like your cell and even your land line in it. I still find value in that convention, and I hope it doesn’t go the way of Facebook because I really hate so much about this new communication era. (OK, I mostly just hate how the stupid graphical smileys Facebook inserts will never stop screwing with line height. Fine. There you have it.)

 

Neighbors, I love you. If you somehow happen to read this, I’m not like mad about you! I’m mad about the way communication is shifting in our entire culture to a way that I’m clearly not good at catching up with. Your cats are fantastic. Please feed ours in early June. I trust this blog post will be sufficient notice of this request JUST KIDDING OMG THAT’S A JOKE LOVE YOU GUYS. <3

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