Each semester on my syllabus I let students know that some questions or concerns can't be resolved via email. And yet I have noticed that my office visiting hours, and those of my colleagues, go mostly unfilled except for right before or after a major assignment.
Anyone who has ever sweated over the phrasing of an email subject line has probably longed for a magical marketing solution that would tell them which combination of words would shoot their open rate through the roof. Well the wait is over.
I have an old trunk full of letters written to me when I was at camp and at college and living abroad. I have letters written on onion-skin paper and on pages ripped from college notebooks. I have love letters from old boyfriends and letters from friends I never thought I'd lose touch with.
While all of these tools can help a bit, none will completely eliminate information overload or the stress of living in a society where you're expected to be on call 24 hours a day. But there's a tool for that built into just about every device you own. It's called the On/Off switch.
The first few post cards I ever saw were scenes of Paris in winter. I recall a sun-drenched afternoon in my grammar school courtyard in Sadec, deep in the Mekong Delta where school children lined up to see real post cards from Paris mounted inside a glass box.
We have crossed the line. Internet and technology use has ceased being about helpful tools to grow and sustain a business. Instead, in many cases it has become an obsession, a compulsion and an addiction.
So, here we are: a world of commentators, Tweeters, bloggers, and citizens with one of the most powerful tools developed in the history of mankind (the Internet) at our fingertips, literally, but how do we plan to use it? And, what is our collective responsibility?
After signing up a few weeks ago, I have read an array of daily messages from people all over the world. Based on what I've seen so far, here's some advice I'd offer to someone who is panicked for his or her turn to speak.
When you text or use email on your smartphone, laptop or iPad, are you breathing or do you hold your breath? Eighty percent of us seem to have "email apnea." Definition: Shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen.
Here's something obvious: We live in a sickening world of non-stop info. Here's something maybe less obvious: Sometimes, the best time to get an important person's attention is to hit 'em up at a weird time.