Ah ! Dear me ! One of my friends called me last night really upset. “You see,” he told me, “I wanted to make a joke with one of my lady friends and therefore I wrote an e-mail proposing marriage (knowing that she would never accept). However, I made a mistake and send it off to the wrong person…”.
Knowing my friend since our days at university, I could not help laughing. “Life is too important to take seriously,” could easily have been one of his quotes (Corky Siegel).
Trying to be as serious as I could, I told him that he just had to tell the truth. However, it was not going to be that easy. The happy receiver, as she was, had already informed her parents and all her friends that finally Mr X had proposed to marry her … So now the girl and her parents were on their way to see him about the wedding arrangements.
Luckily, my friend had not sent his e-mail to more than one person …
E-mails are such an integral part of our daily lives that I sometimes wonder what we would do without them. They are a very useful, quick and efficient tool, but not always reliable. According to a computer specialist, as much as 30% of our emails do not reach the recipient. Many of us have sent e-mails to friends, colleagues, business contacts, etc., but subsequently discover that our message did not arrive at its final destination. Sometimes I wonder if the receiver does not justify his/her failure to reply by saying : “Unfortunately, I did not received your e-mail …”. However, learning by experience, these days I tend to write more than one message if I’m waiting for something really important.
Infuriatingly, the lack of reply often happens when you are waiting for an important message, such as the confirmation of your air-ticket, a meeting that does materialize, etc. So what do you do ? There does not seem to be much point in reminding everybody to follow up the message … The telephone remains, therefore, the most reliable tool as you are at least sure to get hold of the right person.
Nevertheless, modern technologies are part of our daily lives, and many of us have become real e-mail addicts. Just recently, I just read an article about employees suffering from a new kind of syndrome when they are on holiday. It was reported that this syndrome could develop into a form of depression if, after a couple of days, people did not have access to their e-mails.