I Hate Email

Y’all. Lol. Hey. These are all words that I can’t use when I write emails, and that is mighty unfortunate because I use those words a lot.

It’s not that I hate email as a service. Quite the opposite, really, as I think it’s very useful. I just hate how formal and ridged it is. The only people I’m emailing nowadays are professors when I have a question, or companies when I want them to hire me. I hate doing that. I hate using a nice greeting and being extra polite because they don’t know me and it’s hard to tell intentions through words. I hate having to re-read my message sixty times before I hit send bcause if there’s a typo, I can’t sent another email that just says: *because.

Email is the most used communication tool in businesses, but there are studies that show that other forms of communication like instant messaging are more effective because they’re faster and less formal. I subscribe to this theory.

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I am so much more comfortable contacting someone through messaging. Fast, casual, with emoticons and slang. And because so many people probably feel the same, it just makes our collective email use so much worse. For example, if someone didn’t put a greeting in a text/instant message, no one would be offended. Just get right into it. Good. But with email, it could be seen as rude to do that. And there’s no rule book, so chumps like me are left struggling and rewriting emails so I can raise my chances of not offending the recipient, who, honestly, is going to spend twenty seconds reading my email.

Another example is in terms of last words. One time I emailed a prof explaining that the TA unfairly marked one of my papers and asked her to take a look at it. She replied saying she’d do it on the weekend and get back to me on Monday. I spent a while debating if I should reply to that. I mean, did she really want to refresh her inbox and see an email from me, feel obligated to open it because I’m a student, only to have it read: Great, thanks. What a waste of an email. If it was an instant message, that’d be fine. In fact, I’d probably say Great, thanks 🙂 and that’d be totally okay.

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As much as I don’t like it in so many aspects of life, I do understand that formality can be important. We do want to make a good impression. Being polite is always good and I think I usually am a fairly polite person. I know not to start my job application emails with Yo dawg, but is what is so wrong with Hey? Hey is me. I start 50% of my conversations with hey and 80% of my sentences with so. That’ll be revealed pretty fast once someone starts talking to me in person. I wonder if employers are surprised by this. Do they hire somebody who they know use good email etiquette and formalities and are just mindblown when that person ends up being a young adult who uses the word ‘dope’ in place of ‘nice’ verbally?

Anyway. Email isn’t the worst. I’m just picky. And as a communications student, I think it’s very ambitious that I think critically about society’s communication methods and then am able to express my thoughts in this well-written and formal blog post.

And I’m not saying we should all delete our email accounts, because that’s silly. I just think we as a society should all loosen up and chill out and accept that when it comes to writing anything, especially emails, a more casual and relaxed tone would make everyone a lot happier. If you run a business, perhaps look into online management systems like Slack which encourage streamlined instant messaging.

Do you hate (or strongly dislike) email too? Do you struggle with formality etiquette constantly too? Leave a comment. Or email me your thoughts, if you’re up for that. I’ll reply, but I’ll rewrite my reply six times before I send it out of fear of disappointing and/or offending you by my use of “Lol”.

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That’s all for now!

P.S. I realize that this is ironic for my six email followers and anyone else who has email notifications turned on for my posts. Thank you for following me.

 

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33 thoughts on “I Hate Email

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! That’s actually hilarious because I’m rather formal in my e-mails and even in text messages. Like I type out full sentences with grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I agree with you, but unfortunately, professors aren’t our friends, so we’re forced to use this formal tone in order not to cross the line. Does that make sense? It’s because of the boundaries set in place.

    • That makes perfect sense. I’m pretty formal in texts too. Commas and capital letters all the way! But I also slide in some emojis and sometimes don’t feel the need for punctuation, and I know that’s okay in texts to my friends and not to my professors, but that doesn’t lessen the stress of email’s rigidness. Not crossing the line is the goal, of course, but at what cost? 😛

  2. Yes! I hate how formal emails have to be and do I email back a thank you??
    Also I nearly never know what to put in the subject line of the emai :’)

    • Ugh, subject lines are the worst. They’re what is seen first and I always wonder if they’re eye catching enough or get across my point. I’m so glad texts don’t have them!

  3. I actually like email…maybe it’s just because I’m more of an introvert and don’t like talking on the phone 😛 texting is good tho

    • YEP. Talking to blogger friends is always good. You can definitely be looser with them and eventually get to a point where you’re comfortable in your communication. But even at first it’s like ‘will they think less of me for using slang outside of my blog?’

  4. I don’t use email often; I have 182,250 unread emails, currently. But when I do, I’m comfortable using a more formal format. Maybe it’s a generational thing, I don’t know. Either way, use it however you feel most comfortable.

    • Ahhhhh 182 thousand unread emails? I’m cringing so hard right now. Just mark them all as Read!
      I’m sure it is a generational thing for sure because young people grew up with the slang and text lingos that are so engrained in us.

  5. I definitely understand the modern day struggle with the rigid, formality of email. For me it’s not that we need to be less formal; it’s that we need to be ALLOWED to be more personable. I like seeing people’s character shine through their words. Maybe an acronym here or there, but even texts that consist of all rofl, smh, ikr gets a little old. Your article is definitely an enjoyable read!

  6. I only sort of agree with this. Personally I think email has its place, and it belongs there while instant messaging forms belong in their place.
    I’m a full time shipping manager and speak to jobsites all day, but if I instant messaged them then I would come across as extremely unprofessional. After all these are my customers, even if they are men in construction that is their profession and they deserve to be treated with respect. Slang, abbreviations and instant messaging could be considered dis-respectful. Also, just to be clear I don’t think it’s a generation thing, I’m 29 and I’m ok with the line being drawn between business and personal. Just my opinion.
    However, I enjoyed the blog! It instilled desire for conversation.

    • That is a completely valid opinion and I don’t disagree. I do understand that perhaps it’d be a bit weird for stiff businessmen to IM their partners and whatnot, but eventually if the email correspondence is quick enough then it might as well be on an IM application.
      But yes, there is a place and time for everything, and that is okay. Work is work and business is business. I get it, even if I don’t love it.

  7. I loved reading this! Not only did you write out your thoughts in a concise manner, but it was also such a fun read! I personally like to use emails for university or work related matters, however I totally get where you’re coming from when you talk about how you wish emails could be a bit more casual. Since emails are pretty formal, I end up re-writing my emails all the time because I’m not sure if they are formal or polite enough 😂

    • Thank you so much!
      I guess if you write enough emails often enough, you eventually overcome the worry and just send them off. And they’re probably fine because by then, you probably know what’s okay for your situation and do it automatically.

  8. I like your style of writing 😀 I would be totally lost with this, in Norway you don’t have to be formal if you write to a professor, probably more weird if you were. You would be like: “Hi, I have a question,” and that would be totally fine. 👍

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