We got our first email address at our company around 1987. This was back when you were the “Tech” guy if you knew how to type and put a disk in a drive. After we had it all set up, the General Manager came into his admin assistant office and said “It’s all set up? Good! Now, make sure to check it at 10, 2, and 4 – Dr. Pepper“. So at various times during the day – about every two hours, she would click on “Get Mail” and whatever package at the time would dial up the modem, log in to some email system and download – nothing. Lots of nothing back then. Once in a while, you’d get a memo or something from the corporate office, but that was about it.
Now I average about 300+ emails per day, mostly ads and system status reports. I’m not even counting SPAM in that figure. I’ve had to devise rules to handle it all so that I don’t have to see it – it just gets filtered into various folders for reference later.
People receive so much email, in fact, that they’ve moved on to other platforms like text messaging. And the medium doesn’t require “checking for messages” anymore, it’s just a noise and then you have to check your phone to see what’s going on. There’s nothing wrong with that – I like being in touch and being able to keep up with friends/family, but I’ve seen some teenagers and they always have their phone in their hand and they text every few minutes (sometimes less than a few minutes). When did this become necessary? I had friends in school and we’d call each other up occasionally, or hang out – but I never had a need to be in touch with them in an umbilical cord fashion 24 hours a day.
I wonder what the future holds? Is there room for formulating thoughts anymore, or will all that be lost in the din of never-ending conversation?
What do you think?