Wednesday, 10 June 2015

9 Reasons Why I Hate Email

I hate email as a form of electronic communication.

I make that clear to people I know, but I don't generally get the chance to explain why. Most seem perplexed at my loathing of email. It works right? Everyone uses email etc etc.

There are simple and obvious reasons why email sucks, but people put up with them because they are not set up to use something different.

Here are my top 9 reasons why email sucks.



Your / My Email Address
This one is so simple that it tends to be overlooked.

I need your email address, or you need mine.

Obvious I know, but what that means is, most people in the world can't communicate with you and you can't communicate with most of them. Email is the original "friend request" communication method.

People should be able to communicate with you based upon whether YOU want THEM to or NOT.

Not based upon whether they have a piece of information: your email address. Email sucks.

Who?
Email has very little "who", as in identity, attached to it.

It's why people prefer "a proper email address", i.e. your own domain email rather than Gmail, Hotmail Yahoo etc. A domain email looks like you've gone to some trouble, it's attached to a domain / web site that you either: own, work for, or are in some way associated with. It adds some weight to the question of "who".

BUT - Running your own email is trouble. Email can also be easily be spoofed to look like it came from a different person or entity. That's why we have email phishing. So the "who" that's added to any communication via a proper email is more like a lick of paint.

Who a communication comes from is key. It's MORE important than "what" is being communicated!

I ran this no brainer poll, without saying why directly, to make that point.

Who is making the communication request determines whether or not you answer: WHO is paramount.

Email sucks at who.

He Ain't Heavy ...
Oh yes he is! Email means you have to DO something.

(e)mail. It's like real mail. It comes through the letterbox and piles up. It takes space, it gets messy, it needs attention. Hurrah for Gmail with bucket loads of space. It's better but it still needs sorting. Even if the only thing you do is archive it, that is still needy. Heavy.

Email is heavy and information shouldn't be.
Email is needy and sucks.

Security
Email isn't always massively secure. Okay shoot me down here as I'm not totally read-up on the subject but I would prefer to use something that is secure end to end.

I'll avoid the technical debate but just say that if you've gone to the trouble of setting up a "proper" email then you have entrusted all your data to whoever hosts your site. Unless they are a third party in which case you data is looked after by someone else. Your data will always be "looked after" by someone. Excluding of course the tiny percentage of people willing and able to look after it themselves. You should know and trust "who" looks after your data including emails.

I use Gmail for email. I've chosen to entrust data to Google. Email still sucks.

One Time Giveaway!
Sounds like a good thing but of course it's not. Cast your mind back to reason one ^up there^ ...

If you give your email address to someone you can't take it back. That's it. They can pass that piece of information on to anyone without your consent.

I want to be able to communicate with people on a per-communication basis. Email sucks.

Out of Office / Reply All ...
I'm not sure I need to add anything to that one?

Sucky sucky email.


My Emails!
Once you send them they aren't yours.

If you're a fan of email that probably won't make any sense, but have you ever sent an email you wish you hadn't? Those are still out there. Email sucks.


Joining Late ...
Ever been brought into an email "conversation" late? Well that's super clear. Not.

Email sucks.


Shut the F*ck Up!
Those conversations which go on. Please take me off cc ... The people who find an old email and start a new unrelated conversation on the bottom of it because reply all was just the people they wanted.

Email sucks.

I do know that ...
Email isn't going away.
Some (less!) communication belongs on email.
Blah blah .... etc etc.

But ...
In a world where we are asked to communicate more and more who's ready for something else? 
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