MEANWHILE By Robert Kuttner
Let’s put a collar on the thief of time
... E-mail is a time thief. And I’m not even talking about all the other temptations of the Internet, from checking your favorite blog every few minutes, to compulsive Googling, chat rooms, video games or cyberporn....
Looking at recent e-mails, I can find chains of messages where colleagues and I e-mailed back and forth five or six times to resolve a minor question. This is idiotic.
Remember phones? They’re often far more efficient. Questions can be settled on the spot, and the telephone has the further virtue of requiring us to listen to each other, to the tonalities as well as the content. In many ways, the phone is a more advanced form of communication than e-mail because conversation occurs in real time. Imagine that.
(International Herald Tribune, Aug. 27-28, 2005)
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