E mails are both a joy and a nightmare. This week I had a lunatic e mail from one of my sisters (not the one who makes Chutney and lives in the darkest west country, the other one who is mad as a box of frogs, thinks she is 27 and is nearly 40. She lives in London). Anyway, she sent me an e mail in what I read as a very shirty tone of voice about plans for the other sisters 40th. It's a whole other story but it did make me think about e mail and the joys and dangers of it.
Joyous Things about E mail:
* You can stay in almost instant touch with friends all over the world, often whilst looking as though you are working.
* You can send a brief message to someone without having to track them down on the phone and go through all the chit chat just to say 'yes, I can do Wednesday'
* People sometimes send you funny things that make you spit your tea all over your keyboard 'cos you are laughing so hard.
* It is a million times easier to organise things with a group of people with the whole group e mail / reply to all option. No more "I'll ring so and so and get back to you" hassle.
* I know what my godchildren who live abroad look like 'cos I get photos of them every now and then through the wonders of e mail attachments.
* You can have an ongoing argument with somebody (like my sister) without ever actually speaking to her and then tell her that she misread the tone when she calls you on it.
Nightmarish things about E mail:
* Spam, Spam, Spam, Lobster Thermidor and SPAM
* Now that we are so techno dependant I slide into panic and fear when my e mail doesn't work. I see visions of a dark future for myself where I will not know what is going on and won't be able to tell anyone that I don't know what is going on because my e mail is on the fritz. It's a trauma.
* Companies now think that they don't need to speak to anyone because they can make you e mail them with your complaint, query, request and they can then send you an automated reply and never read your rant.
* It is very easy to misinterpret the tone that an e mail is sent in. Sarcasm doesn't translate well, or irony and it can be tricky to divine whether the e mail you have just sent / received was meant as a joke or a termination of all friendship.
* People send you random pictures of their children wearing their pants as a hat, eating, breathing, looking like Damien from the Omen. I have no idea what to send back as a reply and just ignoring said photos feels rude. It's a modern manners dilemma.
I'm sure there are a load more things that I love / hate about e mail but these are the ones I wanted to share for now.
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