Tuesday, September 26, 2006

E-mail... The Good & The Bad

E-mail... It's a wonderful thing... Right?

In just moments we can relay a message with anyone we know who's connected to a computer and share with them a funny quip, a meeting time or a quick thought. We can also share small intimacies... Positive and Negative, which can be interpreted in any manner of ways. For instance, I can call a friend on the phone and say, "Where have you been?" By the intonation in my voice my friend can determine whether that comes off as an attack or quite simply a greeting of nothing more than "I've missed you, it's been so long since we've seen eachother."

The other problem I find with e-mail is that it's just too easy to 'fire' off a message without a bit of forethought. If I receive a letter through the postal system I know that some thought was put into the message within the folds of the envelope. It takes time to search out paper, a pen, a stamp... And having to write the words out long hand makes you stop and ponder exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it... Few people want to send letters with scratched out words or sentences. I'll take the snail-mail version of a letter any day, even if it is information I'm not especially keen on hearing, or should I say reading.

But you say... "Letter writing takes so much time, e-mail is such a convenience." It is! But not when it comes to matters of the heart. If I want to convey my feelings to a friend about a misunderstanding we had, should I really use e-mail to let them know how I feel? Conversely, if I want to share in some bit of joyful news with them... Will they understand how truly happy I am if I write it down in an e-mail?... Caps lock and excalamation points can only go so far... A card, a phone call, a visit can mean so very much more.

I know life is busy but if there are people in your life that really matter... I think it's important to attempt to do more than e-mail them.


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