Recently, I read the late Nora Ephron’s book I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections and the title of this book makes me chuckle because, well, I’m not super at remembering things. Actually, I just did a little art project for Big Girl’s Kindergarten class. We parents were asked to share one thing that is easy for us and one thing that is hard. I gave this some thought. My easy thing was making my girls smile because I am pretty A+ at that. But my hard thing was “remembering things.” Think: cell phone, keys, library books, appointments. Alas.
But I digress. Ephron’s book. First, it was wonderful. Brilliant and deep with humor. In it, she mentions again and again how little she likes email. And this got me thinking about email, about how deeply rooted it is in modern life – whether we like it or not.
Personally, I love email. I think I do at least. I love that I can sit down at any hour and write words – practical, philosophical, logistical – to the people in my life. I like that I can confirm that order of tiny kiddo tables for my girl’s birthday party at midnight. I think it is convenient and, used the right way (what is the right way?), it can actually foster relationships that would otherwise never have a chance to burgeon. I am thinking particularly of the email exchanges I’ve had over the past few years with so many of you, about the connections these exchanges have facilitated. How else would this happen?
But. There is a but. There always is in life, no?
But. Sometimes I wonder whether we are missing out on things by emailing so much? I’ve said it before here and I will say it again: I rarely speak on the phone these days. I rarely hear the voices and laughter of those I love. Also, I think email leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. A friend of mine recently said that she has gotten in a lot of trouble over email.
And then there is the whole matter of whether or not we are “good emailers.” As is fitting with the rest of the ADR package, I am not excellent on staying on atop ye ole inbox. Husband makes considerable fun of the fact that I am sitting upon thousands of unread emails day after day. As some of you have probably noticed, I often fail to respond to emails on time, or at all. Not out of lack of desire, but simply out of lack of organization. A theme, I know. Oh, and sometimes I accidentally hit “reply-all” when I should just hit “reply.” That’s always a joyous occasion.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about all of this. And I wanted to see what you guys think. Clearly, you are all somewhat technologically-inclined and savvy if you are here reading, but I want to know whether you actually enjoy email or whether you are ever wistful for the olden days of phone calls and face-to-face chats?
Do you like email? Are you “good” at email? Do you remember your pre-email days? Have you let email supplant other forms of communication? Have you ever accidentally hit reply-all? What is easy for you? What is hard? Are you a Nora Ephron fan?