Email and Technology Are So Yesterday — Why I’m Going Back to Paper and Pen
I'm not exactly certain of the author's position on the situation involving Hillary Clinton's emails -- maybe he wrote the USA Today article intending it to be a stream of thought rather than an opinion piece.
Truthfully, I'm also not exactly certain of my own position on the matter. But I'll say this, and it somewhat mirrors certain thoughts in his article; I have openly suggested that I am going to officially stop accepting complaints or criticisms via email.
If you want to complain or criticize, you'll either need to call or hand-write.
The reasons are simple.
Email is an immediate medium, which is great for just about every kind of communication... except the ones that are powered by emotions.
Email allows action before thought and without effort.
The reality is, most people won't pick up the phone or write a note to complain, but because email is so quick and easy and sometimes even anonymous, people say things that they'd otherwise never say and in ways they'd otherwise never say them.
Have you ever written a scathing email, but before sending it, as your emotions calmed, you began editing? Then you paused, reread, and edited some more; changing the words in 'all caps' to lower case before eventually removing entire sections.
The final draft of the email you spent 30 minutes crafting ended up a single sentence, making your point as effectively, but saving you the headache of having to defend the thought-diarrhea that you almost blasted at someone.
If you had to pick up the phone or actually use a pen, you probably would do neither. You would stew a bit and then get over the issue.
Conversely, if your phone rings or someone hand writes a letter to explain that you have offended them -- or better yet, apply a positive spin; they've called or written to tell you that they were thinking about you, it might have a much greater impression on you given the effort that went into the communication.
This all kind of plays into the mentality of something like Snapchat, as Michael Wolff, the author, muses; "Big, new fortunes are now being built on the promise of separating what we want to say from what we want people to know we've said."
For the record, I haven't officially put this throwback policy into practice, but, it's real close. But feel free to send a hand written note or place a phone call any time; (517) 363-2975.