Back when I was in university, it marked the days that it was routine to check my email at least once every single day when I woke up to make sure that I was not missing homework assignment by teachers or group meeting updates, even job offers. Eventually, it became that sometimes, group meetings were not that necessary either as we could send in our work separately to each other for review through email and than simply have one person put in the final draft and have everyone do the final reviews also by email where another person will do the final corrections and print out for submission. Now that I work, its become even more essential. The habits of checking email hasn’t changed on a personal or professional level.
Do I look forward to checking email everyday? I would say that its been a lot more joyous in the mornings to check my personal email since I started diving into the blogosphere. The various blogs that I follow have made my inbox full of new surprises everyday. Its always something new to look forward to with new recipes, travel, photography, workouts, movie reviews. Its just absolutely amazing! As for work, what more can I say than that its more of an obligation to answer to client emails. The only hope is that it will not bring forth a problematic day or add more stress to the normal work day. What is nice about email on a work basis though is that it now allows us to not have to meet up with clients in person as much but many issues or transmission of documents can be done through exchange of email. That is the main pro for email at work. Time efficiency is so important since whatever time you save from one place, you can put that into finishing up something else or helping move things along ahead of schedule. On top of that, this also helps to have some sort of “paper” trail where we can refer to discussions with proof of what was talked about and mentioned when conflicts occur.
We can easily see the benefits of email is its convenience. It also helps with saving time to complete tasks. You can now save time to meet up for anything or to have to bring anything in hard copy to discuss. It can all be discussed through soft copies sent over to another person to help solve any issues. With this way though, sometimes, one major downfall is miscommunication. Miscommunication is also due to the lack of communication in general. So now we pull back and bring this to a more personal level. On this level, we have the benefits of having a more cost-efficient way to keep in touch with our friends and family that may live in the neighboring city, next province, next state (if you are in US), another country in the Americas or overseas.
I hate to sound all old-school but I love snail mail. It may take days to weeks to receive but I enjoy doing it. Even if during the year, I don’t end up sending off a lot of mail but I always make it a point to send off actual Christmas cards. I need to maintain that little bit of human connection. I’ve always felt that reading something someone wrote is a lot more personal than sending off an e-card or something along those lines. Yes, it costs to pay for stamps and cards or whatnot but sometimes, its very nice to receive something heartwarming in the mail (other than bills, flyers and more bills). Of course all this is on a more personal level. Emails are a means to get the arrangement of meetings done or to pull a efficient conversation or message through to someone far away. Is it more efficient than picking up a phone and telling someone all your updates once in a while or simply skyping about it?.
I love emails because on one side it help be a whole lengthy word vomit session with your friends. Nothing can really replace the voice of your best friend, hearing the excitement when you share some great news or knowing that they aren’t okay when they say they are. Even seeing all the effort they put into writing a card or letter and sending it off, because you know that they took the time to do that extra little gesture, doesn’t it just warm up your heart? Thinking about it, if you were in the same city as the people you email to keep in touch, does that replace having a nice chat over dinner or possibly even having movie night together? Maybe its because life has become so eventful, maybe work is very busy, maybe there just isn’t time…emails are the answer because you just can’t spare the time on either end.
The important question now is: Do you feel that emails are the last resort to keep in touch or is it your go-to plan no matter what the circumstances are? What do you think?