My Flickr contacts can send me email through Flickr and my Facebook friends can send me email through Facebook — and this really irritates me. I wish people would stop doing this, and in fact I make it a habit to ignore most everything that comes through these channels. I already have a great channel that lets anyone, friend or stranger, contact me and it’s plain old, regular, basic, vanilla email.
There’s no shortage of email haters lately, and I admit that plenty of people with even busier schedules than my own must get tons more email than me and hate it. Still, I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that I get a decent amount of email — not just spam, but personal correspondences, professional correspondences and out-of-the-blue correspondences from people I don’t know. It’s a lot to go through, and if I neglect it for a day (or, more commonly, a weekend) it requires a bit of work to catch up.
Don’t Break What’s Not Broken
In spite of that, I still think email worksаbetter thanаjust about any other communication medium out there. It’s not just that it’s ubiquitous and universally understood; or that I fully own my email address and its domain; or that I can access my email from any number of clients, desktop or Web or mobile or tablet; or that I really can answer it in my own sweet time. For me, the bottom line is thatаemail works great. I don’t have any serious trouble keeping up with it and, so long as I’m not working with insane people who send poisonous diatribes over email, I kind of enjoy it.
Email is not broken, if you ask me. It could be better, for sure, but I don’t think it requires the drastic changes that so many other people seem to believe are necessary. And I certainly don’t need messaging intermediaries entering the picture. These alternatives just fracture what is for me a pretty well consolidated experience — if you want to reach me, my email address is pretty easy to find and I, in turn, know the one place I should turn to check to see if you’ve reached me.
Lots of people disagree, I’m sure, and who knows, we may one day have a much different kind of messaging solution than email. I kind of doubt it, though. I suspect that email is so well ingrained in us by now that, imperfect as it is, it’ll still be here several decades down the road. Until there’s an unequivocally better solution though, if you want to reach me, just send me an email.