Tuesday, 23 September 2008

When I'm away, I wish the World was too

I've had an email address since 1994, when I was at University. Sure, my inbox was slow in the beginning, but it picked up rapidly with my sporting involvements, increasing social network and website developments. And where I craved the ping of an incoming email, I now cringe.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate email. Far from it... I love email and the internet. Both are mediums around which I've built much of my work. Email runs my life. And it also dominates it.

Fourteen years after getting my first email account through the Wits Computer Centre, I'm still as obssessive about replying to each and every one. And I don't think I've had more than a week out of every year or so where I haven't accessed my emails - ja, I need counselling!

It isn't necessarily that I want to read emails while I'm away; I'm more motivated by not having a huge pile to wade through when I return home.

Take this recent trip for example... I have three email accounts; my regular ar.co.za account and two for work. While away I checked them every few days, deleting spam, newsletters and irrelevant postings. I also cast an eye down the list looking for fun chatter from friends, which I didn't necessarily respond to; I took advantage of my autoresponder, which stated that I was away and out of email contact. The upside to this was that I downloaded only a fraction of what I would have on my return.

This is the thing... when you're away and sunning yourself on a beach, the rest of the World is still at work. The World doesn't stop because you're on holiday - but I wish it would. That's the one nice thing about December - most people go on holiday and those that are still around slow down because so many people are away. I'm looking forward to the slow-email year-end season.

Email is a one of the finest inventions (in my opinion as an addict) but although we can turn off computers and phones when away they just keep coming in. And sooner or later they need attention, so there isn't really much escape is there?

Even if I became a raspberry farmer, email would still be important for dealing with suppliers and buyers... So, the issue is really not the presence or absence of email, just the volume.


Anyone know of farms for sale?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

O yes. We always ask the question "how did we manage before all the modern technology?" ...just fine! - we didn't have mobile phones going off in theatres, or people insisting on answering phones during meals, meetings or even worse, your boss phoning you at 3 in the morninng. As for e-mail, the 'RULE WIZARD' is my friend - for obediently sending most mails to file 13.