Even though I send a ton of email everyday, or perhaps because I send (and receive) a ton of email everyday, I’ve begun to despise it.
The Christian Science Monitor helps me understand why:

In a world where businesses and friends often depend upon e-mail to communicate, scholars want to know if electronic communications convey ideas clearly.
Though e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium, researchers have identified three major problems. First and foremost, e-mail lacks cues like facial expression and tone of voice. That makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well. Second, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures e-mailers to think and write quickly, which can lead to carelessness. Finally, the inability to develop personal rapport over e-mail makes relationships fragile in the face of conflict.
In effect, e-mail cannot adequately convey emotion.

I’m not alone in my disdain. Austin musician, Toni Price does not use email at all. I don’t know that I’ll ever join her in that ban, but I can daydream about it.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.