Mindworks’ Weblog

Thinking Matters

Email – we can’t live it, we can’t live without it

Posted by Andrew Cooper on March 9, 2007

Or can we?  Tom Hodginson says that he has stopped using email entirely.  (Well almost.)  It’s a tempting thought in a way, but although I’m a heavy user I’m certainly not addicted to email – if I was I’d buy a Blackberry and pop into internet cafes whilst on holiday.

Emailing, like blogging, can certainly waste a lot of time, but only if you let it.  But so can many other activities which can give the illusion of productivity: going to meetings, for example (see below), or using the telephone.  Or watching television, playing golf – the list goes on and on.

I’d be hard pressed to rank meetings, the telephone and email in terms of their potential for time wasting but I’d probably put telephones, particularly mobiles, close to the top of my list. Like email, mobiles can be fantastically useful but also tremendously disruptive.  The main advantage of email over the two others is that it’s aysynchronous: you can decide when, and whether, you want to deal with messages.

And it’s not as if email is a new thing.  I sent my first email some years before our 18 year old daughter was born.

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