I miss E-mail | Opensource.com

I miss E-mail

I miss E-mail
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I miss asynchronous conversation.

I miss the ability to have an actual thread of thought preserved in something less ephemeral than memory, or in some chat log somewhere on one of my systems’ hard drives.

I miss the ability to not be there if someone has an observation I’m interested in. I don’t want to have to observe in real time.

I miss email. If someone has something to say, is it that hard to write it in such a way that it can be understood clearly, with topics and explanations?

Ironically, I say this on a blog, whose sole medium is the constructed and preserved thought...which means it’s going to be missed by the very audience from whom I’d prefer asynchronous communication.

I say no.

I use Twitter, but not Facebook; my use of Twitter isn’t “normal,” I think, and it’s fairly inefficient.

I can make 140-character thoughtlines, I think, but they lack a core representation of my personality in them. While I recognize that the point is the message and not the messenger, often the messenger creates the message not as a set of words, but with the force of personality and intent.

The message is the thing. The messenger makes the message, and becomes part of it.

Twitter’s limitations on messages forces their very tight focus, which is a good thing – it’s an excellent training ground for learning how to focus what you say – but tight focus lacks conviction.

I miss the chance to see that conviction.

There’s social commentary here, too, even if I don’t know how to frame it well. Recently, I had an email exchange with someone, and he complained that I had taken too much time to explain my position on something, that I clearly wasn’t focused on my responsibilities if I had time to explain myself in detail.

I was horrified and amused – the dismissiveness was funny, really, but the intent behind it was not so good.

I still don’t know if what he meant was that my reasons were specious, or that he had no interest in reasonings. (It’s my personal feeling that convictions establish the meaning behind what people think; I can accept the silliest concepts from people who have reasons to hold them, even if I don’t agree with them.)

I miss email.

A lot.

Originally published on enigmastation.com and re-posted with permission.

About the author

Joseph Ottinger - I am a writer, musician, programmer, husband, and father. I read way too much, and probably write too much as well - but my passion is transfer of information, so that's okay. :)