Slow Down – Rethink E-mail

Photo Credit: Dan Mulligan from

Anyone who knows me is aware that I’m not as fastidious about returning e-mails as the rest of the population. And I’m not all that apologetic. I don’t have a new I-anything that allows me to access my e-mail en-route. In fact, I wouldn’t want such a device if it were given to me for free. Instead, I read and respond to e-mail on a computer – when I have time. And sometimes, this means that I don’t respond to e-mail for a day or two. I deliberately use e-mail this way. I don’t want to e-mail to rule my life; I want it to be a complementary communication method to my days.

I know, I know, there are all the technology addicts out there who can’t imagine their life without their e-mail on their phone and the constant tweets and beeps that make them feel connected. But the misuse of e-mail demands that we speed up communications so that we don’t really connect with people as thoughtfully or as meaningfully as we may like.

My attitude towards e-mail was reinforced the other day when I heard Chris Anderson, curator of TED talks, interviewed on CBC’s program, Q. He is quoted as saying that e-mail is a “giant rats nest of voracious demands on our time, energy and sanity.” He states that as long as it takes longer to respond to an e-mail than to send it, this mode of communication will be ineffective. He has created an e-mail charter to help people use e-mail in a more efficient way. Go read it and consider signing it.

Communication technology is one of those allusive, ever-changing arrangements between people. It can keep us bound to devices more than people. And ultimately, it can keep us working and interacting at lightening speed. If we want to slow our lives down, we need to stop expecting immediacy when we connect with technology.

Still not convinced? Here’s a teaser for a great CBC documentary titled Are We Digital Dummies? Or, watch the full episode here.

1 Response to “Slow Down – Rethink E-mail”

  1. 1 Willard April 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks
    of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

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