Mar 02 2012
I recently read a great piece on the effects of email in our lives and I think this paragraph sums it up pretty nicely.
Imagine an ordinary day at work. You probably start in the morning with a cup of coffee, greet your colleagues and then the inevitable happens, you log in on your computer. For many of us the latter simple action has become automatic behavior and we donâ€™t even realize that this act is dominating the rest of the office day. E-mails constantly ask for attention and intrude our working schedule.
And don’t get me wrong folks.Â Email is a great thing and has had tons of positive effects.Â However, today I want to focus on the negatives because it’s these negatives that lead to us becoming a less productive and too reliant work force.
Here are five negatives to the invention of email…..
We are Now Less Personal
Texting, emails, BBM’s.Â Call them what you want.Â Â Fact is, we’ve become a world with way less personal interaction than we’ve ever had before.Â And it all started with email.Â Then came chat rooms, etc etc.Â Â The most personal of all of these is the invention of the teleconference.Â At least now we can see people we talk to.Â But email?Â Email is just a screen.Â You can’t feel what a person feels.Â Â You can’t say something HOW you want to say it.Â And frankly email is generally an excuse not to talk to a person.Â Admit it.Â Â If you wanted to call a person you’d pick up the phone.Â Email’s just easier.
Yet Another Dependency in Our Lives
Whether we like it or not email has become an addiction for many people.Â Â If it weren’t an addiction we wouldn’t be checking it over 100 times a day.Â Â People feel special when that inbox lights up.Â Â Email in a way is a form of validation for your existence.Â It says “people want to reach out to me.”Â When in reality more than half the emails you get don’t even matter.Â And as far as the amount of times you check email?Â Try this test.Â Â Check your email three times instead of 30 and you’ll find you get the same results.Â If something is so important that it can’t wait then I would hope the person who sent the email would pick up the phone.
A False Sense of Security
When a person sends you an email it tells you that they are OK.Â It tells you that they are alive.Â That they are working.Â Â But we’re so jaded by email now that when we don’t get responses in a timely manner we tend to worry about the other person.Â Â What happened to them?Â Are they OK?Â Why haven’t they emailed me back yet?Â Fact is, nothing will prevent a person from getting sick, dying, having to take a dump, or about a million other things that would delay their email response time.
Do I even have to get into this?Â I’m pretty sure that everyone reading this has had a day (probably more than just one day) where they’ve wasted at least 1 hour because of email.Â Â And I think I’m being generous in saying 1 hour.Â Â Fact is, it’s more like 2-3 hours when you add everything up.Â Â If only we used email as we were supposed to.Â That might actually improve productivity.
Too Much Reading into Leads to False Perceptions
Ever try to gauge a person’s mood from an email?Â Â That’s just a recipe for disaster.Â Too many words!Â Not enough words.Â Why did they use that word?Â Â Nothing matches a phone call or a personal meeting.Â Â Don’t try reading into anything that is text based.Â Â We are guilty of doing this on a daily basis.
Even More Uncoachable Stuff