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L as in… lobotomy?

I used to think e-mail was the best thing that ever happened to me. I like to write. I hate the phone. It seemed perfect. The phone supposes that you want to talk to someone at the exact moment that they want to talk to you. E-mail lets you ponder your response and reply in your own time.

I first realized I had phone anxiety when I attempted to leave a message on an answering machine using the clever “A as in Alpha” technique. When I got to L, I couldn’t remember anything that started with that letter. So I got nervous, hung up, then called back and lied that there had been a bad connection. E-mail would never render me that vulnerable.

But now I see that email might actually be ruining my life and the lives of those around me. I have a friend who recently e-mailed someone an article that she thought they might find of interest. Before she knew it, she was embroiled in a back-and-forth e-debate over Wal-Mart, homosexuality, and religion.

Perhaps some topics are just a little too heavy for e-mail to handle, and not just in terms of file size. For example, there are matters of the heart (breaking up with someone or declaring your undying love); and, of course, time-sensitive issues (you think you’re having a heart attack but can’t find the 911 website.) So what is e-mail good for? At the very least, it will always remain the method of choice for transferring funds from the bank accounts of Nigerian royalty.

Content Creator
Giselle Melanson Tattrie is a writer and researcher who has worked in TV, film and print. She is currently the features editor for Popjournalism as well as the technical and content editor for Drawspace Publishing. Giselle lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and two children.
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