Remember the good ‘ole days when we used to dialup the local AOL connection and wait for that most wonderful…”You’ve got mail.” You know the sound I’m talking about…[audio:http://pomomusings.com/wp-content/mp3/Mail.mp3]
I used to LIVE for email. I loved staying in touch with people – writing long emails and getting long replies. When I was in high school and college, my friends and I would stay in touch a lot through email. In college, my four best friends and I would write lengthy email updates to each other almost every week – we talked about all the deep stuff, you know: girls, God, school, struggles.
At any rate – I think you probably have some idea of what of what I’m talking about. Opening up my email Inbox used to give me warm fuzzy feelings. Now it’s just seems to be filled with tasks that I need to complete. Perhaps that’s just part of “growing up,” getting involved with more organizations, having a web design business, etc. But, it’s definitely changed. I was watching this YouTube clip of Tim Ferris being interviewed about email management by Loic Le Meur, and Loic said that your Email Inbox has basically become your Todo list that someone else decides on.
Occasionally I will get an email from a friend with no agenda, no question, no action item associated with it – an email in which they just want to find out how I’m doing. Those are rare – but I love getting those (and reminds me that I should write more of those myself).
So, email has certainly evolved…but so have we I’m guessing. In the world of Facebook and Twitter and instant gratification, we often keep up with our friends through these types of web 2.0 tools. And obviously, I’m a huge supporter of this – being a big Twitter user myself. But is this the same as getting a great email from a friend, or from picking up the phone and calling someone just to see how they’re doing?
So while I continue to rely heavily on email for my work and ministry, part of me wishes we could get back to those personal emails that we used to send. Others may wish that we could get back to those personal handwritten letters; I certainly remember writing 20pg (double-sided!) letters to a girl from camp I liked in 8th grade.
I’m sure we will continue to evolve as technology changes – but I hope we are all able to maintain some deep personal connections amidst all of the “friends” and “followers” we have.