Friday, March 7, 2014

How Many Emails Is Too Many?


I know many people that have numerous business cards. We all know people that have multiple cards that they shuffle around in their pocket, their briefcase, or their purse. And while some people may see this as an antiquated form of sharing your information, it seems to only be gaining in popularity. Here is the part where I admit that I am one of those people that still uses the traditional business card. In fact, all four of my cards have a specific purpose and, when you look back, it is interesting to see a glimpse of your personal history when you look back at all of your old cards.

However, the aspect that becomes a bit cumbersome is not the flipping between one card and another. It is on the technology side of things. Each card has an email address and not all my email addresses have business cards. Pretty much everyone I know has two email addresses these days. One for work and one personal. So far, I am up to six email addresses.

There are some days when I miss not having an email address. Remember the days when, if you wanted to talk to someone, you would either call, meet them somewhere, or write a letter? Now, in addition to the email addresses I am constantly shifting through throughout the day there is also all the social media channels that I try and manage. All told, I figure there is about 15-20 forms of communication that is constantly streaming correspondences, updates, notifications, and actual messages that I want to read and respond to. At this point it is a bit of a refreshing change when my phone rings and I am actually able to have a conversation with someone. And given the various duties, jobs, and responsibilities that I enjoy on a daily basis, I never really know what the call will be about.

In a sad little twist, have you ever noticed that too many calls these days, and I am guilty of this at times, are a means to confirm that an email was sent? Some days I would like people to embrace just a single thin strand of patience and wait for me to reply. It makes you wonder if, with all these communications streams deluging us with data whether it is too much. The fact that we have to use two forms of communication to relay a single message just isn’t right.

I honestly don’t know what needs to change. There is going to have to be either a slowdown in the adoption of new social media channels or we are going to have to learn how to filter out the unnecessary traffic and focus on the important tidbits scattered throughout our inboxes. For now, I will continue doing my best to keep everything up and running and keep the ebb and flow of communications going. And, of course, I will keep blogging about the random topics that come to mind.