So just over 2 weeks ago, I proclaimed to the world that I was quitting email. I shouted it loud and long from the rooftops of the interwebs. And it felt good. Really good.
There seemed to be 2 kinds of reactions..
- Good on you! I wish I could do the same thing..; and
- Err, why the heck would you do that?!?
A week later, just to drive my point/intentions home, I applied a permanent 'out-of-office' message to my persornal Gmail account. This is what it currently says:
(yes, I quit facebook too - more on that in another post perhaps)
I had one friend, so perplexed by the auto-reply, he proceeded to forward it to my work address claiming that my Gmail was hacked! I wasn't quite sure how to put it to him - I retorted, "no, I'm doing this on purpose..", and I think he was even more confused after that.
So the big question people have been asking me -- Has anything changed since the advent of #NoEmail?
Apart from annoying my friends with an emphatic and somewhat crude message, saying that I'm too good for them.. well, not much as it turns out.
Since I haven't switched off completely, I still get to read the emails that come through. The subscription emails like ones from Inertia music label, Summify, and posterous digests are all still very useful.
The only difference has been that I am not replying from that address, so when a group email is sent out, I do not reply within minutes as I normally would. I still get copied into endless 'reply-alls' that do not resolve a thing - however, saying nothing seems to be bothering a few people. And to me, that's one of my key objectives --> that is, to shake things up a little bit and get people to think more about how they use the tools at their disposal, to effectively communicate with one another.
There have just been 2 occasions (count 'em: 2, over 2 whole weeks) where I have thought that just emailing back would be easier, since the recipients are not on Google+ nor are they readily checking facebook. What did I do instead? I sent them SMS's - Yep, that old chestnut.
I expect that over time, I will be copied in less & I will continue to 'reply' in more creative ways. When the floodgates eventually open for G+, my friends at least, would be better equipped to use the channel properly.
The more and more I think about it, I believe Gmail will become Google+'s private/direct messaging feature similar to Facebook and Twitter's. And it will act as the notification centre for all of your online services (if it isn't already the case).
Times are a changing, and we're only at the beginning stages of the comms revolution. Only question left in my mind -- how long before we think of emailing, as something as ancient as sending a fax?