Email, Texts and the Loss of Conversation


Email, Texts and the Loss of Conversation

Someone in the vast PT organization had to cancel a meeting the other day. She sent out an email cancelling the meeting and set off a deluge of emails (9 in total) all of which were filled with “OK”, “I didn’t know there was a meeting”, “I wasn’t’ coming anyway”, “I really don’t’ think I’m involved” and the like. Naturally everyone involved in the meeting was copied on every email making it not 9 emails but actually 36.

Then I hear a complaint like “I emailed so in so and they didn’t respond to me. What am I going to do?”

The other day an extremely important email was sent to me and it went into my Junk folder. Now I have my junk settings at the lowest level so I get almost all emails and very few go into Junk, but it happened anyway. I never occurred to me that an email of such importance would end up there. Someone sent me a text at 9 pm at night telling me to check my junk email. This was very important (our Parknews site was down) and a phone call would have been appropriate. Frankly I don’t check email or texts in the evening.

I believe that we are losing the ‘art’ of conversation and replacing it with email snippets. So effective this week, I am invoking the following policy:

I am declaring every Thursday a “no email’ day at Parking Today Media. All PT staff are forbidden to email or text any other PT staff on Thursday. On the fourth working day of the week if you need to communicate with any PT staffer, you must pick up the phone and talk to them in person. Anyone breaking this rule will be subject to a Court Marshall offense.

So there.


PS So now I send the staff an email telling them not to email on Thursday. Sigh.

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John Van Horn

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