One of the unanticipated mysteries of our society’s switch to online communications is the unanswered e-mail. While many people would say that we’ve always had unanswered communications–be they smoke signals or letters or telegrams or faxes–I think the remove of the internet, compounded by how its instaneousness breeds impatience in us all, makes the ethersphere an even more likely breeding grounds for communications-based sloth. It’s easy not to respond to a friend or colleague’s e-mail because I get so much practice not responding to spam.
Yesterday the Times ran my article about the phenomenon (it is here), along with illustrations by the great Ross MacDonald, and comments from John Leguizamo, Erin McKean, PM Forni and others.
How has having published this article yesterday changed my life? By making all my communications today seem very, very fraught.