A single buzz from my iPhone can be any number of things: a new Facebook chat message, a news update from my CBC app, a nudge from my Draw Something game. I don’t mind when my phone buzzes once to alert me to these. However, the majority of the time one buzz means only one thing: email.
So closely intertwined with the once-mighty MSN Messenger back in elementary school, emails were a carefree and easy way to keep in touch with friends outside school. I would anticipate opening my inbox to find funny videos from my friends or an invitation to a movie night (why use the phone when you could send an email that might not be discovered until days after the event?).
While the medium did take on a more serious tone when used to organize assignments, it never became a burden until high school.
For most students, the dread of email doesn’t hit until university, but I somehow got a head start. As the head of my high school student council, I constantly corresponded with the parents group and teachers through email. Fearing I had completed a task incorrectly or poorly, or if I didn’t know how to respond to their message, emails became almost too frightening to answer. I would do my best to defer responding until later.
Unfortunately, my relationship with email did not improve in university. It may have something to do with my acquisition of an iPhone… nah! Emails now contain information about tuition payments, course assignments, cell phone bills and other hassles. Add on the fact that I get over 10 emails an hour as the guest arts editor for my student newspaper (which is a whole other can of worms) and you can see why I might jump whenever my phone buzzes.
Maybe it’s that email is, for the most part, emotionless. When I receive an email that isn’t a chain letter about a girl who will poke my eyes out (what happened to those?) or a Dominos pizza deal (one of my personal favourites), it generally means I have to take the next step on a project, coordinate an interview, or, during my days of music council politics, organize an event. For fear of disappointing whoever is on the other end of the message thread, I have to work carefully each time and construct emails with very deliberate word choices.
I remember the days when I scoffed at the idea of emails being a time-consuming job. Emails were about funny dog videos and really annoying chain letters (that you always broke). Now that I’m nearing the point where I want to online casino remove myself from the grid (OK, maybe I’m not that far along yet). I need to find a way to repair my relationship with email.
Maybe I’ll send out a thread of irritating jokes to my MSN contacts like the good old days. And maybe you should too, before getting buzzed (see what I did there) loses its appeal.
When you follow me here I get an email. I love those emails.