I don’t know when we reached the tipping point of this thing. I really don’t. All I know is that one day email was a valuable means to pass on data of extended detail to people through a very quick means, or perhaps a more polite way to reach out to someone you don’t know well enough to call. And it sure as hell beat writing an old fashioned letter for those purposes, in terms of speed of delivery. But over the last few years, people have come to consider email a means of communication all it’s own. Separate from and equal to all other forms. As if by emailing someone it lets them off the hook from having to communicate with someone in more regulated or confirmed manner. Such as a phone call or a text message. When you speak with someone on the phone about something, you can be pretty sure they heard what you said. There’s clear communication there. But lets’ face it, if you shoot off an email to someone in the middle of the day and don’t hear back from them, you have absolutely no clear way of knowing if they even received it, let alone read it.
It’s 12:41am here. Have church tomorrow. So tired from what goes into music videos… Spent ten hours today between hair, makeup, wardrobe and shooting. Must have shot the song twenty times. It’s a crazy world. Point being that even if you do spend all day working, like I did today, you still have to check and respond to emails these days because people have become accustomed to just dismissing their regular communication through shooting out emails to people. I mean, it’s just come to that now. People don’t bother calling or texting you. They think because they’ve sent you an email they’re in the clear. When did it get like that? More importantly, how did we let it get to that? It’s like BAM they shoot off some email as if their job is done, and hell you might have received a few hundred emails that day. There’s no way you can get through them all even if you weren’t working. It’s physically impossible. Unless you’re an octopus. Or a clone of a clone of a clone. At least once you reach a certain level in your career of choice. Which I have now. A few years back. Which basically means that for all the money and success I enjoy, I am forced to endure an equal quantity of copious emails.
(Someone just Poked me on FB. Seriously. Now THAT is irony at it’s finest… LOL!) Now I do have a system set up. For those that wonder how that works, once you reach that level where you are receiving tens of thousands of emails per week or month, I’ve got an assistant or two who are copied on all emails that are sent to me. That’s been going on for about ten years now. More probably. And if something really important comes in they text me a copy of it right there on the spot so i can text them back a response to the sender. Their other job is to just get that number of emails down. Sort them. Filter them. Get the spam out. Get the newsletters out of there. Let me know if anything personal and important arrives that needs my attention. And let me know if anything important in the way of business arrives that needs my immediate attention. And that works for the most part. But there’s just no way in hell that one or two people can handle it all unless that is ALL they do. Which right now we don’t have set up. They’ve got other jobs as well. So a lot of it falls through the cracks. Meaning, that it just hits my box and quickly makes its way to the bottom, beneath that line where you can’t see it, and by the time the moon rises on the horizon there are a few hundred emails below that line just from this morning. Poor bastards want a response. Problem is, I might not see their email till 2014. And that’s the truth.
And there’s just no way around that. I’ve heard people say “Dude, get email on your phone so you can read them while you’re away from your computer.” Yeah, good idea. I’m away from the computer because I’m working. On the phone or in a meeting or actually “doing” something. Last thing in the world a man needs to be doing while he’s doing one thing is have his nose buried in a cell phone trying to read emails. It’s just not appropriate. If you’re working all day… you’re working. How the hell are you supposed to then sit down and spend another eight hours sifting through people’s emails? It’s crazy. But people expect it these days. And a lot of these people are my friends, coworkers, they’ll shoot something out and six months later be like “I think I sent you an email about it…” Makes me laugh now that I’ve vented a little. It’s ridiculous really.
You might not see their email for weeks, months, in my case I’m still catching up on and replying to emails from 2008 this week. I think we took this email thing way too far. Truth is, it’s my humble opinion that if a person sits behind a desk all day and they live in that “email world”, fine. That might work for them. They might “clear” their box every day. Great. They’re life is all about the email. Like people who watch TV. Some do. Some don’t. But you can’t expect someone who doesn’t own a TV to know what you like to watch on Tuesdays at 9PM. Same goes for email. You just can’t expect everyone to be as into it as you are. Your living through emails every few minutes does not mean that it works for other people. People who don’t have desk jobs just don’t see emails every five seconds. And damn me to a world where there’s no Send and Receive button for an eternity, but I think that if you want to communicate something to somebody you should still be expected to pick up that phone and call or at least text them to let them know “Hey man by the way, check your email when you can. I’ve sent you some more details about such and such in an email.” That makes sense. That works.
But the email should not replace regular communication. I think it’s a cop out that people use so they don’t have to follow through with regular communication. “What? Oh dude, I emailed that to you like a month ago…” “Great. Thanks for telling me that now. A month too late.” So here I sit, cross eyed and tired as hell scrolling through emails at 1am in the morning after a full day’s worth of work because a bunch of lame asses decided that they didn’t feel like picking up the phone. The way I see it is this. If what they sent was not important enough to communicate through regular channels then it can’t be that important, knowing that I just don’t have access to email most days.
I don’t know how we got here. But I’ll tell you, it’s a loathsome place. It’s enslaved us all to be humpback desk sitters or little gadget hounds. And i for one love life too much to spend every waking hour glued to some electronic device. I see the ads for “tech geeks”. And I respect their love, obsession, whatever you want to call it. We all have our hobbies. And technology has definitely turned into a near obsessive hobby for many people. I personally love it’s convenience and the possibilities it portends for our continued progress and evolution as a species. But I don’t buy into the fact that we need to become enslaved to it. The life as some call it, la vida, is just way too bella for that.