This post is by Om Malik from On my Om
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It is raining outside. I can hear its soft patter outside my window. I like rains. They make me nostalgic, especially on a Sunday, my day for catching up with the week ahead. Past few days have been particularly intense, mostly for personal reasons. I have been preoccupied and thus been playing hide-and-seek from responsibilities such as replying to emails. I decided to change that today.
After all, Sunday is the typically the day I usually try and clean my inbox and reply to all emails, so I can get a head start on the week. However, lately, it has become more and more challenging to be responsible and maintain etiquettes. The replies keep compounding, the asks become more belligerent and frankly a time suck.
For instance, I would get an email every so often asking me to do something for the person sending the email. Many don’t even email for months, and when they do, it is an “ask” for something. Some want me to tweet a link, or upvote on Product Hunt or ask for an introduction. What’s worse is that most of them don’t observe social niceties — such as asking how are you, what I have been up to. Each message is very transactional, and it annoys me quite a bit. Today, there were many such messages in my inbox — and I decided to mark them “read” and archive them. I might do this more often — and it would be good for the general health my mailbox.
Later, when having my afternoon tea, I was wondering to myself — are the internet, and the volume of communications making as impolite and lose social niceties. I understand that we all scream on social networks, but why do we do the same in our more personal communication environments? Is it because I am from a different generation that I feel the need for communication politeness? Do young people care about this stuff and have stopped attaching any emotional and social payload to messages? Listening to the soft rain outside my window, I am just wondering about these things!
January 20, 2019. San Francisco.