I admit it…..I have a love-hate relationship with e-mail.
I love the ability to communicate with people from anywhere around the world with the relative certainty that they will receive my communication almost immediately.
I love the ability to carry on a ‘conversation’ with someone possibly at great distance, at virtually no cost.
I love the way e-mail enables me to organise and prioritise my communications with other people and to see simply what I need to deal with rather than having to wade through piles of telephone messages, scraps of paper and correspondence.
I love the way that attachments can be sent all around the World without wasting paper and without relying on human intervention to handle and possibly lose them.
But I have my hates. I hate the injudicious use of e-mail:-
i) the way in which people use it to pass the buck, i.e. dump something into your in-box when they should be dealing with it themselves;
ii) the poor use of language and the mis-communication that is created. I have seen far too many e-mails where the tone is inappropriate and not what one would use if writing a letter or speaking to a person;
iii) the use of e-mail when telephone is more appropriate;
iv) the expectation that because an e-mail has been sent, the recipient has not only received it but is dealing with it straight away.
Of course, we are living in an increasingly fast-moving world where access to information is limitless and where speed of communication is increasing by leaps and bounds but it is my view that e-mail is widely misused and I would be delighted if people thought a little bit more about how they communicate.
But…..if the alternative is reliance on post, stacks of paper, or expensive long-distance phone calls, give me e-mail any time!