E-mail gets a cold shoulder
Dmitri Gunn works at MIT’s Media Lab, one of the most hyperconnected places on Earth. But when it comes to the one ubiquitous form of communication of the digital era, Gunn is unplugging.
He’s turning off his e-mail to the outside world: Gunn won’t give out his e-mail address to most people and doesn’t even list it on his business card. To stay in touch, Gunn reverts to a relic of the analog age — the phone.
“If it’s urgent, or important, then by God, they’ll call,” said Gunn, who has been on a yearlong campaign to take back control of his inbox after it became overrun with virtual junk and superfluous messages.
With billions of e-mails shooting around the world every day, clogging Gmail and Yahoo accounts everywhere, many are recoiling from the torrent. It’s either too much of a chore, or just uncool. The young set has bypassed it altogether, seizing on social media tools such as Twitter, or texting, as their primary means of electronic chatter. Some big companies find e-mail outdated, and instead are using more sophisticated internal messaging networks that filter out outside noise. And some busy professionals say it isn’t convenient anymore — a time-waster, in fact.
“Here’s the thing: You hand people cards and they send you e-mail,” said Rudina Seseri, a partner at the Cambridge venture capital firm Fairhaven Capital, who no longer puts her e-mail address on business cards. “If someone actually cares what I think, they can make an effort and follow me on Twitter.”
Seseri, like Gunn, isn’t going cold turkey. She still gets more than 100 e-mails every day, but now spends much less time deleting unwanted messages.
(Article by Michael B. Farrell)