Friday, February 15, 2008
E-mail is a funny medium. I am a funny person. Combine the two and the result is a little odd.
Some people type e-mails quickly, focusing on the substance to be conveyed rather than the style with which it is conveyed. That wouldn't be me.
First of all, I run spell check on every e-mail, even if the e-mail says Thanks, I'll be there. Of course, I'd never just write "Thanks, I'll be there," but if I did I'd make sure it wasn't "Thnks, I'll be there," or "Thanks I'll be tere." And I'd take a look at it to make sure it wasn't "Thanks, ill be there," or "Thanks, I'll bet here."
Second, even if you do receive an e-mail from me along the lines of "Thanks, I'll be there," be sure that I spent some time writing it. It might have started out as: "Thanks for the invitation. I wouldn't miss it. I do so appreciate being included. Let me know if I can bring anything." Then I would have taken out the sentence about bringing something and replaced it with "Let me know if I can help with anything." Next I would have dropped the offer of help all together. After that, some scrambling of ideas and phrases would occur. "Thanks for indicting me. I wouldn't miss it for the world." "The invitation is awesome. I'll be there." "It was nice of you to send off an invite, I'll be there." "Thank you for the kind invitation. I'll certainly be attending." Some of this, like "I wouldn't miss it for the world," I would type out knowing full well I'd never include it in a million years. Eventually I would settle on "Thanks, I'll be there," or "Thank you, I can't wait," or "Thank you, it sounds like a fun time," or maybe even "I'll be there. I can't wait to see you."
If the e-mail is truly the stuff of contemplation, then I will take half a day to send it. That is, after all, what the drafts folder is for.
What I find most intimidating about e-mail is the marked absence of tone. What I find most interesting is all the lost dialogue, the facts, tidbits, arguments, or words of encouragement that go unsaid. Whole conversations go unsaid, or at least that's the way it is for me. But, I'm kind of funny.