Ah email and my inbox my long lost friends, we have shared so many memories together. You have been been a great friend and have provided me with so much information over the years. I think however we are starting to drift apart. Now I know this may sound cliché, but it is not you it is me – you see I think the reason we are drifting apart is that I am still learning new things and exploring new ideas where as you have been pretty static and do the exact same thing as the day I first met you.
I find myself over the past few years being drawn into many more “real life” conversations on various Social Networks – I mean how can you my trusty friend compete with talking to people in real time on Facebook, Skype or Twitter… The conversations that happen on many social networks are in real time and include video, photos and the chance to actually “talk” to people. If a person is not online I can still leave a message for them in the same way I can with you. The chasm is deepening every day.
You are far too engrained into the corporate culture to just pack up and go away, however I find myself using you less each day. I predominantly use you as a tool for people to send me attachments (candidates sending me their resumes) or for me to send attachments to others as many social networks do not yet allow that function. Once I work out a way to receive and send attachments and as more people use social networks regularly as part of their work day I think my reliance on you will decrease even further.
Some of my frustrations come from how unproductive you are becoming. Every morning that I check my dearest email, I have numerous spam emails that I am forced to delete immediately. I also get frustrated when people have “email conversations” with me (you know the type of email that usually consists of one line messages back and forth) – pick up the phone and call me or ping me on one of my online networks – you have become time consuming and less productive then you have been in the past. These things all take up time that I could have spent talking to people.
Using online collaboration tools is becoming easier and there are new tools popping up every day. You are in your current form no longer viable and I feel you must change or I think you will be left behind and have the same fate as what has happened to another previous companion of mine, the fax machine. I remember the days when I used to fax resumes to my clients, I have not done that for over ten (10) years now, and I do not think I ever will again. I think that you my dear friend are heading down that same path.
What collaboration tools do you use?? What is the future of email, will we still be using it in 2,5,10 years, if so in what capacity?? Send us your thoughts and comments.