When I first began to use email in earnest, while a student at MIT in the early 1990s, writing and reading emails had much the same feeling as writing and reading handwritten letters. By far the easiest way to write an email was to go to one of a small number of computer clusters on campus and log in to a computer terminal. The people I sent email messages to were few and far between, and they also had relatively infrequent access to an email-enabled computer. So if you sent an email to someone, you expected that they might not read it and respond for at least a few days, if not much longer. All of this encouraged the writing of messages that were relatively long and that provided information that could be quite out of date, much like a handwritten letter.
Continue reading Making Email Slow Again
Google Gmail recently finalized its “Undo Send” feature, which enables you to recall an outgoing email up to ten seconds after you hit “Send” on it. The feature works by delaying the sending of the email for ten seconds, so that if you hit “Undo Send,” the email will not be sent in the first place.
Continue reading Gmail Offers Anti-Mindlessness Insurance
The law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges sent an email to its employees on April 1 stating that electronic messages would not be transmitted by the firm’s servers late at night or be delivered to employees while on vacation. Seems like a reasonable and respectful way to counter the constant need for connectivity among professionals, in an effort to reduce stress and improve health and well-being, right?
Continue reading Too Bad Law Firm’s Mindful Email Policy Was Just an April Fool’s Joke