Text messages and FaceTime calls all break human interactions into tiny blips and fragments of instant communication. It’s the modern way of communicating these days. It’s happening often, in little periods, at a more or less fast pace. But this way of communicating seems to erase a much slower rate of human interaction we used to have not too long ago up until the late nineties: emails.
One advantage of email is that it allows for more thoughtful and deliberate communication. Unlike instant messaging or phone calls, where responses are often quick and on the spot, email will enable individuals to take their time to compose well-thought-out messages. Email communication allows for more thoughtful and well-considered responses thanks to its asynchronous nature. Unlike synchronous forms of communication such as phone calls or instant messaging, where there is an expectation of immediate responses, email allows individuals to carefully craft their messages and review and revise them before sending them. This contributes to clearer and more accurate communication, as people can take their time to gather information and reflect on their thoughts before replying.
Email also provides a written record of communication. It’s nice to have access to such past communication between two persons, especially for long conversations over a long time. With instant messages, it tends to be hard to keep, or we don’t bother to scroll back up to recount the conversation unless there is a particular need.
I recently was in an email exchange with a stranger in Poland. I’ve been following him on Mastodon from my Micro.blog account for some time. I always read his posts and his thoughts. He recently expressed his desire to converse by email with people he follows on social networks. He wished he would be more acquainted with people he didn’t know about. I decided to raise my hand and start the conversation with him. We have exchanged four or five emails so far. We learned a little bit about each other at each turn. As I write this, I await his response to my last email. It’s been a week. The pace is slow, and that is ok. There is a six-hour difference between us. Unless he prefers to write during his lunchtime or early morning, I always get his response later in the day. Who knows what other part of his life he will decide to let go and reveal to me?
Something is refreshing about waiting for someone else to answer. The time is slowed. I tend to anticipate what is going on the other side. I do other things, and eventually, I get this email, waiting to be read, at the moment of my choice.
I don’t know where this email conversation will lead us. Maybe we will become friends. Maybe not. At the moment, this is not what is essential. Enjoying the slow conversion is.
If you want to engage in the conversation, please consider going ahead and using firstname.lastname@example.org to send me your email and introduce yourself. I'll be more than happy to respond.
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