``Life,'' said Marvin, ``don't talk to me about life.''
People mourning the decay of society as a whole and of the long lost art of Writing A Letter in particular force me to denounce them all as dumbbells. Dummys, dopes, boobs, boobys, pinheads, to be precise. There just is no better way of communication over distance than email.
Letters? Pah! Too much effort. Too personal. Take too long, too.
If you ever need to contact me, do it via email. Don't call. I never answer the phone, even if I'm there. I'm one of those people who happily sit right next to the phone, the ringer turned off, listening to you talk to the answering machine. I hate the phone. It's intrusive, it interrupts me. It asks for immediate attention, it catches me unprepared.
The cell-phone is even worse, but people more annoying than me have already pointed that out. Good job. If I had a cell-phone, it would be turned off. SMS is a neat idea, but it's major drawback is that it requires a cell-phone. An alternative would be some form of Instant Messaging, such as ICQ, for example. However, these systems exhibit a similar level of intrusiveness as the phone.
Beepers are an invention from hell: as obnoxious as a cell-phone, PLUS the additional hassle of having to run to a phone to return the call. I laugh in your face, Evil Beeper Company!
Now email on the other hand... Aaah, email! I feel inclined to place a smiley here, but refrain for the sake of credibility. Anyway, email:
Writing what you want to say forces you to think instead of just opening your mouth and letting it out. No, don't try to be snide and object ``But people don't think, they just babble!''. If you babble you either are a very good friend of mine or your mail is deleted right away. So there.
Email does not jump in my face and wave it's hand and yell "Attention, attention! Answer me NOW!"; if you liked it to do that, though, that would not be a problem either. I can choose to ignore emails as long as I like. I can take my time and think about what I want to say, how I want to say it. I can start a draft and come back to it later. (For the paranoid: I can keep a copy of what I said and of what others said to me.)
On the other hand, I can also respond immediately, if I desire so. And generally, I do. Unless I'm asleep you usually get a response from me within 30 Minutes. If it takes longer, I'm either away, busy or regarded your business as of minor importance. Don't worry, eventually, I'll answer.
Discussions can be followed over several days, weeks, months. I can include references, quotations etc, which you may read at your leisure time. Try that over the phone.
If you ever need to contact me, do it via email. And try to observe a few points:
Ok, good. Now you know. The question ``If I were a shoe, where would I be?'', which I just overheard on the radio, shall be answered another time.
July 29, 2001