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Tech_keyboardEmail.  Bane or boon?  We had the discussion yesterday in my men’s small group.

Amazing technology.  I can correspond with people on the other side of town, across the country, and around the world.  I can quickly spread the word to a team of people (small group, missions trip team, staff).  We have access that most people in history could only dream about.

One guy commented that a friend is so email-engaged that he seems to be typing his responses as the email-bits are rushing onto his PDA.  Another guy admitted to bidding in an online auction on his Blackberry while in an area clothing store (he lost the auction).

Great technology.

The group also talked about their biggest frustrations with email.  These are the things the guys tossed out, in no particular order:

  1. Spam — The artery-clogging cholesterol of the internet pipeline.  Whole websites are devoted to the issue.
  2. Chain Letters — If we don’t forward this email to 8 people, we’ll have bad luck/no blessing/show we don’t care
  3. Jokes — One guy said he’s never forwarded a joke to anyone.
  4. Urban Legends — Ok, I just added added this one.  Nothing a visit to snopes.com won’t cure.
  5. Negative Feedback — Email is for info and positive communication only.  A great rule-of-thumb is never use email to provide negative feedback.  Pick up the phone or meet face-to-face.
  6. Cowardice — A lot of "lambs" face-to-face become "lions" behind the safety of their keyboard, writing things they wouldn’t say if they had to look you in the eye.
  7. Drowning — I just added this one too.  I’ve got friends who receive several hundred emails a day.  Drinking from a firehose doesn’t refresh you and is hazardous to your health.

So what’s your experience with email.  Bane or boon?