How Email became the Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever

Am I the only person who actually likes email? Apparently so.

It wasn’t until I heard that a colleague had nuked his personal email account—on purpose, for good—that it hit me: Email is the most reviled personal technology ever. Mat Honan, the San Francisco bureau chief at BuzzFeed, was so fed up with email that he did the 21st-century equivalent of unlisting his phone number and ripping the cord out of the wall. (He couldn’t do the same at work, but I suspect he wanted to.) This abject fear and loathing of a telecommunications technology, and the radical step Honan took to escape it—not mitigate, not reframe, not “fix,” but escape—got me curious about how we got to this point. What are the actual, fundamental design flaws—if any—with email? What makes it such a huge target for “fixing,” yet so resistant to it?

How Email Became The Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever – John Pavlus, Fast Company (15 June 2015)

Read the full piece for advice on coping with email plus a little history of it. I enjoyed the history more but seemingly I’m a freak. I’m okay with that.

About that flirt-fave thing

I’ve been utterly unaware of such a thing until just now when I learnt of why people favourite tweets but the flirt-fave is sticking with me.

It’s worrying me, to be frank. I’m trying to remember every tweet I’ve favourited. Only Suzanne Vega has ever favourited me so that’s something for me to glow about later.

That previous story about reasons for favouriting linked out to many resources including this definition of my flirting:

Flirt Fav

Deployed almost exclusively on personal tweets about your undateability or selfies where your hair looks good. Also applies to people who fav any and all things you tweet, even if they are banal/stupid/something you’re going to delete in the next five minutes.

A Simple Guide to Twitter Favs – Jessica Roy, Time (4 February 2014)

I’m not liking the word ‘favs’. But I would more dislike the next entry, the Hate Fav, if I weren’t ignoring it and going la la la.

Read Roy’s full feature.

They’ll hate you anyway

Most people do not create things. At least, they don’t create anything that many other people will ever know about. You can cook for your family for twenty years, nobody outside the ungrateful brats will ever know. You can save your multinational corporation a billion pounds and they definitely won’t tell the world. But if you do something that goes out to people, if you do create something or write something or produce something, you will be hated.

You’ll also hopefully be liked or even loved but the guaranteed one is hated.

In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers examined predispositions towards topics that subjects knew nothing about.

Some critics are harsh by nature, not because of what they see in the creation they are criticizing.

They found a reliable trend in the responses of certain participants. Despite being asked about a myriad of unconnected topics—and asked again about new topics at a later date, to confirm they weren’t just in a bad mood—they found two abnormal groups who they classified as “likers” and “haters.” The “likers” tended to rate most things positively with zero external information, and the haters… well, you know where this is going.

Born Hatin’ – Why Some People Dislike Everything, Gregory Ciotti, 99U

I’d like Ciotti to use the word ‘myriad’ correctly but we are many years into that process by which the misuse of a word becomes the correct use just because nobody can be bothered to stop it. Nonetheless, the rest of the piece is particularly interesting about how all this applies to what we write online – and why we get some hatred back.