What happened to email?

When I left Sweden, my job, my friends and everything in 2004 we all said we’d keep in touch. We were talking about how easy we had it nowadays, with the Internet, email … the instantaneousness of it all, as compared to «snail mail».  In the beginning, I did have a lot of mail in my inbox … we wrote back and forth, and it was fun. Eventually, that petered out — life moves on, on both sides of the Atlantic — that’s only natural, and has nothing to do with the subject line of this post.

What I’m talking about is how the phones have taken over the whole scene of communication. People rather send a text message about something that earlier would have been sent as an email. It intrigues me a little, why many prefer to tap away on that little screen instead of a proper keyboard. Maybe it’s just me — I’ve typed my whole adult life, so that might be part of it. Typing on a regular keyboard comes much more natural to me than the little screen with auto-correct and where my fingers feel like sausages.

Make no mistake; I’m happy people text me 🙂 … it’s not that — I’m eternally grateful people want to keep in touch with me, regardless of medium — I’m just curious about how they can tap away such long messages or perhaps they no longer have a home computer. I have the great privilege of having both an iPhone and a Mac … I get my text messages on the computer too, so when I see it’ll be a lengthier conversation I move over to my desk.  How people can text and drive at the same time totally baffles me.

We live in a time of change (just as we always did), and it’s the same with landline phones. Back home, hardly anyone of my friends has a landline anymore, and if they do, they never pick up because of the telemarketing.

I just wanted to reflect a little on email, because every morning when I check my inbox, there are only newsletters and updates. On the other hand, I get ‘real’ letters in our mailbox and I write letters by hand, but that’s a whole different story.




62 thoughts on “What happened to email?

  1. Maybe it’s your love of the fountain pen. Many people don’t know how to respond to that kind of mail anymore. But you did inspire me to go out and buy a new fountain pen. Nothing fancy but I love writing with it. It’s a Sheaffer, but I had to go with cartridges. Can’t get ink that easily anymore.

    1. Me, too.
      I handwrote all of the thank you notes for my son’s two memorials and one Celebration with a pen on beautiful paper. I was inspired by Rebekah’s post on pens and paper.

      1. There’s something special about writing with a fountain pen. I think it’s the way the letters have skinny sides and fatter parts, because of the shape of the nib.

  2. I’m tempted to write you an email now. I was thinking about it seriously the other day, but as it happens, it remained just a thought. And I’m one of those people who’d rather write an email then a text. Swiping on the phone keyboard is incredibly annoying.

    1. LOL yay, go for it 🙂 I know I could turn off auto-correct, but it isn’t just that … I think small talk is more for email, and text for important stuff, but this is all so individual.

        1. LOL yeah, I guess it’s all how it starts — when I got my first ‘smart phone’, and received a text message, I got all excited and thought «wow, this must be something really important!», and that feeling stuck with me 😀

      1. Good, so when something interesting happens, I’ll email you 😀 I really wish something interesting worth communicating happened.

        I hate making phone calls, so email is my preferred means of communication. I believe I’ve written several bulky books if I counted all the emails I write together.

  3. Well I’m dictating this reply on the iPhone. I enabled dictation on my Mac.

    Soon there won’t be any tapping of keys at all. 😊

    My wife Tamara writes really long emails to her friends – I mean pages of them and her friends write really long emails back. I’m terrible I just write a few lines.

    1. 🙂 WHY is it I feel ’embarrassed’ when I talk to my phone?! Even with Siri LOL I definitely have to be alone in the room to do it.

      I have one friend who still writes email … twice a year. I print them out, and usually they turn out to four A4 pages! I love it …

      1. And I cannot imagine speaking into an Apple watch. I would feel like an FBI agent.

        I have ‘Things’ set up to import Reminders. When I am out walking and I don’t want to put my reading glasses on and type a reminder, I tell Siri – ‘New Reminder’. And then Siri says “Tell me what you want to be reminded about.” – and I press my phone against my chest to muffle the sound of his voice. How embarrassing – Why can’t he just say ‘OK’ or something? 🙂

          1. Yes, Things is an app. It syncs over iCloud so it’s on my phone and my laptop. I like that on my Mac, if I need to reply to an email I can drag the email into a to-do. I use it sparingly – not for most emails – but when it’s something I have to reply to and it needs some thought, it’s a way I can find the email later.

            1. I looked it up overnight. It seems to be good and useful. Lately, I’ve just been using GMail’s Inbox … since I don’t have any email to respond to 😀

              1. Oh boy, could I ever use your opinion on this particular conundrum. (You too David, but if you don’t want to pull your fingers out of your ears, I’d totally understand! ; ) There was so little difference between 6 & 7, it didn’t matter – but now… What do you think?

                1. I have time to think until October … or I could even wait another year. It feels weird. Mine is three years old now and I’d been meaning to upgrade this time, but right now … I just don’t know what to do.

                    1. Right now, I’m leaning towards the X, but I few hours later; ‘wait another year’. When I’m this undecided I usually end up doing nothing at all 😀

                    2. On the X? Only compared the 8+ and the X. It would be better if I could see it in real life … hold it. I think I’ll wait until next year … or not ROFL

        1. LOL, David! You just reminded me of Dick Tracy – the old cartoon on TV/comic strip in the newspaper here in North America. (Mmm, not sure if he was seen in GB?). Always thought it looked rather idiotic, this “talking into your shirt sleeve” thing. I mean, how subtle is that? Or people (particularly the short-haired military-looking types) running around with a coiled radio wire trailing out of their ear? Seriously?!?

  4. I prefer a keyboard. I have trouble on a phone. I do it a lot but I am not the fastest on it. I watch my grandson and is keys so rapidly!!

    The same happened to me when I quit work. I THOUGHT those girls were my friends. But I now think not. Never one email. Life does change.Sometimes good. Sometimes not so good.

    1. Of course it’s a delight to tap on the iPhone, compared to when we only had the letters on the numeric pad … three letters assigned to each number 🙂 What a pain in the butt that was! I’m not fast on the tapping and I make lots of mistakes so I have to be careful before I hit send.

      Life goes on … in both places, and I must remember that — nothing stands still and lots has happened in these thirteen years I’ve been away. I have only one close friend there, and for that I’m very thankful. We text 😀

  5. Interesting. I think when I am on the go and outdoors – I text. When at home, I e-mail if the computer is on. For me this is only a practical thing. But of course I prefer the keyboard!

  6. I can’t understand how anyone can write anything on a mobile. It take much longer to write and then the auto correct thing. Writing on a computer is much better.

    1. I too find a keyboard much more relaxing to write on, but of course … when I’m out somewhere, texting is okay too. Messages get short — I tend to get a lot wordier on a keyboard 🙂

  7. I too prefer the bigger keyboard than the tiny phone. However, what really baffles me is the exchange that can go on by text/email to coordinate something when it would be so much simpler and easier to simply get on the phone!!

    1. That is something funny; I don’t like to talk on the phone anymore! My husband often asks me; ‘why don’t you just pick up the phone?!’ but I write instead. Don’t know what happened with that 🙂

      1. It works when it’s just an exchange of information or a casual discussion … but when details need to be coordinated, the back and forth by text drives me insane.

    1. Thank you 🙂 … I’m doing just fine. I don’t take as many photos anymore but I write a lot and the fountain pen groups are time consuming 🙂

  8. LMAO about the Siri thing! You two are like echoes of what transpires here. I feel like a total idiot talking to Siri… Unless I’m driving and then it makes total sense. As far as his wordy responses go, I assume it’s to make you feel all warm and fuzzy that you’re actually “having a conversation” with your blessed cellphone?(NOT!). And Siri can be either He or She… Mine’s set up as the British fellow: )

  9. And then again, there are the times when conversations start up here on WordPress… Like right now; )
    I’ve been forced, more than once into using the phone for everything and it’s amazing how fast(proficient even; ) one can become when it’s the only choice you’ve got. Oh, and I very often need to “teach” my phone new words and phrases – particularly when it questions a spelling or gives a totally asinine infill/autocorrect…

  10. I agree with your Rebby about texting on a tiny screen! I prefer my laptop so I can type with ease & see what I’m doing. I still have a landline & since I got new phone # NO telemarketers! it is wonderful I can tell you. There are ‘pros & cons’ for cell phones. My big ‘pro’ is that if I were in trouble (fell or being assaulted) I could call for help 911. The ‘con’ is do cell phones cause brain injury/trauma? I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the cell phone waves.
    So for now I’ll just talk away on my landline & type on my laptop & be one happy camper so to speak!!!!!
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen
    P.S.: I write 1-2 letters a month now where I used to write 15-20 letters a month back in the 90’s & into 2000…. 😦

    1. I hardly ever talk on my cellphone … I only use it for Internet stuff. I used to write many letters up until mid 90s and now it’s picking up again. It’s nice 🙂

      1. LOL see you are a lot like me[ then again we are from the same generation. We embrace a certain amount of technology but balance with the ‘old’ ways….hehehe… 🙂

        1. Oh yes! I want balance … as much as I love the new technology, I still don’t want to let go of all my old ways. That said; had I still lived back home, I would probably have talked more in it LOL … here I don’t have anyone to talk with 🙂 [not saying this as an entirely bad thing LOL]

          1. Agreed about balance! I can relate about having/not having people to talk to face to face. I have (finally) learned that it is best to not talk to just anyone here in this building. Even my next door neighbor has turned her back on me & on Dharth Henry. I’ve come to realize just because we all live here does not ‘make us friends’.
            Thankfully I have Sheila & Mary-Ellen & a few other friends I can talk with. I have gone back to being more solitary & for now that suits me well enough. And I have good friends online (like you) who I can really relate to! 🙂

            1. Oh I don’t think I would like to socialize with anyone in this building. That could turn very tiresome, if you get to a level where they think they can do the pop-in. I’d hate that. I’m totally good with our social life 😉

              1. TOTALLY agree about the ‘popping in’ aspect Rebby. I enforced a rule that a person need to call me first. Some people were quite snotty about my request so they were not invited in. There is this whole familiarity factor that can be a real problem. I like my privacy & I like to socialize…so trying to find that balance can be tricky. I heave kept my rule in place & there are only 2 exceptions who can come to my patio door w/out calling as they have earned that privilege.
                And I find it difficult to find anyone my intellectual equal here. Do you find that there? Not that I’m high class or anything….I just appreciate intelligent conversation……lol…..

                1. I like to socialize … in coffee shops LOL, and I value my privacy more than that. Ideally you find people that are on an equal level, intellectually … it’s horrible to feel stupid also ROFL — I hate that. Sometimes I can get that feeling, even here in the blogosphere. Those times, I have to remind myself that I could be clever about stuff ‘they’ don’t know one iota about. That said, I totally agree … it’s very important. I don’t socialise with anyone in the building here. I’d say here it’s 70% senior citizens [and I mean senior ] and 30% students from Asia. The senior ones usually have sold their homes because they figure they’re too old to keep up, and can afford the rent here.

                  1. I like the going out to socialize idea also. Then my place is all ‘my place’.
                    As for senior seniors I actually like hanging out with them. I love the stories & recollections. I’ve learned a lot from many seniors over the years….. I think being raised by Grandparents & Aunts/Uncles I got used to older people so I find them fascinating!!!!

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