Since you are taking a break from your e-mail right now to read this post, I thought you might be interested in a new book by John Freeman entitled The Tyranny of e-Mail (Scribner, 2009). My plans are to feature this book at our January First Friday Book Synopsis.
The premise of this book is that unlike the phrase that rings for every AOL user, “you’ve got mail, ” e-Mail actually has you. Freeman explains that contrary to popular belief, e-Mail has not brought us closer together. Recipients misread and misunderstand large numbers of e-Mail.
In his book, Freeman suggests that e-Mail is at fault for a number of maladies, including difficulty concentrating, trouble maintaining depth in relationships with friends and loved ones, problems feeling rushed, and several others.
I think that his suggestion not to quit is a wise one. Rather, learn to manage e-Mail so that it does not manage you. Send fewer of them. Reply only when you feel that you have to. Check them on your terms and schedule. Don’t visit your box excessively during the day.
I look forward to delivering a synopsis of this provacative book in January at our Dallas-based program. Until then, let’s talk about what you think!